Health Care and Human Resources

5 ways to stay healthy and safe during the holiday season

November 30, 2018
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The holiday season should be filled with enjoyable time with family and friends, not illness and injury.

Our team understands the importance of keeping Michiganders healthy and safe, so be sure to keep these five tips in mind when you’re celebrating this year: 

1. Spread joy, not germs

Catching the flu or getting food poisoning are two presents that no one wants to receive during the holidays. Washing your hands with soap and water before and after preparing food, after using the bathroom and after sneezing will help prevent the spread of germs.

2. Keep your house from being the wrong kind of “lit”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 800 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, in 2012-2016. These fires caused an annual average of two civilian fire deaths, 34 civilian fire injuries and $11 million in direct property damage. To keep the celebration from being too “lit,” keep trees and decorations away from chimneys and radiators.

3. Sip smarter

Indulging in holiday spirits is a tradition for some individuals and families during the holiday season. Alcohol.org reports that Americans spent $9.7 billion on beer and $4.8 billion on wine during the 2015 holiday season. Sip smarter this year by remembering to drink water, keep track of the number of alcoholic drinks you consume and never drink and drive.

4. Bundle up

Getting outdoors during the holiday season is a great way to stay active and to enjoy the winter wonderland. The cold weather, however, does present some risks. Frostbite can occur rather quickly after exposure to extremely cold temperatures. Stay warm and dry by wearing layers and getting into a warm room as soon as possible if signs of frostbite are recognized.

5. Plan safe and stress-free travels

According to AAA, in 2017, the majority of holiday travelers traveled by car to visit family and friends (a 3-percent year-over-year increase). To make sure you reach your destination safely and free of stress, ensure your vehicle has been properly maintained, map out your route and wear seatbelts at all times.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts to avoid it, an illness or injury does occur during the holidays while we are away from home.

On those occasions, it is encouraging to know that many of Michigan’s health care providers work together, through our nonprofit's connected network, to make sure they have the most up-to-date medical information available. This assures that health care providers have the information they need, where and when they need it, to deliver the best care possible.  

By working together to prevent illness and avoid injury — and coordinate the exchange of health information — we can all get back to enjoying the holiday season with family and friends!