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Holiday Health Tips

December 20, 2012

Santa Clara County, CA. The holidays are a time to celebrate, give thanks and reflect. They are also a time to pay special attention to your health. Here are 10 ways to stay healthy this holiday season.

1. Wash your hands often. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

2. Travel Safely. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t let someone else drink and drive. Wear a seat belt every time you are in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to his/her height, weight, and age.

3. Be smoke-free.  Avoid smoking and breathing other people's smoke. If you smoke, quit today! Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or talk to your health care provider.

4. Get check-ups and vaccinations. When you find health issues early the chances for treatment and cure are often better. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Schedule a visit with your health care provider for a yearly exam and ask what vaccinations and tests you should get.

5. Watch the kids. Children are at high risk for injuries. Keep an eye on your kids when they’re eating and playing. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, choking hazards (like coins and hard candy), and other objects out of kids' reach.

6. Prevent injuries. Injuries can occur anywhere and can happen around the holidays. Use step stools instead of furniture when hanging decorations.  Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or skateboarding to help prevent head injuries.

7. Prevent burn injuries. Most residential fires occur during the winter months. Keep candles away from children, pets, walkways, trees, and curtains. Never leave fireplaces, stoves, or candles unattended. Don't use generators, grills or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning devices inside your home or garage. Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home.

8. Handle and prepare food safely.  As you prepare holiday meals and other meals, wash your hands and surfaces often. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs (including their juices) away from ready-to-eat foods and eating surfaces. Cook foods to the proper temperature, refrigerate promptly and do not leave perishable foods out for more than 2 hours.

9. Stay warm. Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems, especially in infants and older adults. Stay dry and dress warmly in several layers of loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing.

10. Eat healthy, and be active. With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays the healthy way. Choose fresh fruit as a festive and sweet substitute for candy. Select just one or two of your favorites from the host of tempting foods. Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favorite holiday music. Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
Your health is important so use these tips to stay healthy. Visit for more holiday safety information.
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