6 Tips for Staying Injury-Free Over the Holidays
Any emergency room doctor will tell you that there is a significant increase in injuries over the holidays. To avoid finding yourself in the emergency room or participating in physical therapy for several months after winter ends, consider these six tips to help you stay healthy and safe over the holidays.
1. Watch Out for Fire Hazards
Lit fireplaces and strings of lights make beautiful decorations and make the home feel more like the holidays, but they also create a major fire hazard. To protect your home, thoroughly douse all fireplaces, candles, menorahs, stoves, and grills before leaving the house, and never leave these unattended when lit. Test your smoke detectors. Use only low-heat bulbs for your lights. Look into holiday fire safety standards for a full list of safety precautions.
2. Remember Food Safety
Illness can come just as easily from your food as it can from someone sneezing in your face. Make sure all kitchen surfaces are clean and disinfected regularly. Keep raw meats, especially eggs and poultry, away from eating surfaces. Don’t leave perishable foods out overnight.
3. Manage Stress
Your physical health is linked directly with your mental health. If you find yourself overly stressed, it can actually make you sick. Also, stress tightens your muscles, which makes it easier for you to receive injury if you fall or overwork yourself.
4. Prevent Injuries
Be safe both when decorating and when walking on icy sidewalks and driveways. When hanging lights outside, secure your ladder, and have someone hold it to make sure it doesn’t fall while you’re on it. Use a step stool rather than a chair to reach things inside your house. When it’s icy outside, throw down rock salt and wear good shoes to avoid slipping.
5. Travel Safely
Before you go anywhere for the holidays, make sure your vehicle is prepared. Have a mechanic inspect the battery, brakes, and especially the tires. Also, keep an emergency kit in your trunk in case something happens on the road. You’ll want blankets, water, a first aid kit, and jumper cables at the very least.
6. Stay Active
Although physical fitness is notorious for causing injuries, it’s also great for preventing them. If you stay active and work your muscles daily, it means decreased issues with arthritis as well as increased tolerance to injuries. In short, it’s more difficult to strain muscles and damage joints if they are well used.
Make sure you do what you can this holiday season to keep you and your family safe, but if you ever find yourself in need of treatment for a joint injury, call our office to make an appointment.