Sayre, Pa. – The winter and holiday seasons can be joyous and fun, but they also present many opportunities for accidents and illness to mar an otherwise happy time. Theodore F. Them, MD,MS,PhD,MPH,FACOEM, Chief of Guthrie’s Occupational & Environmental Medicine Department offers these tips from the Centers for Disease Control to keep you and your family healthy:
- Wash hands often to keep yourself from spreading germs and getting sick. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
- Manage stress. Don't over-commit yourself and prevent holiday anxiety and pressure. Get enough sleep.
- Don't drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger.
- Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. There is NO safe amount of tobacco or secondhand smoke. Breathing even a little secondhand smoke can be dangerous.
- Fasten seat belts while driving or riding 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. Use a seat belt on every trip, no matter how short the trip.
- Get exams and screenings. Ask what exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history.
- Get your vaccinations (especially flu), which help prevent diseases and save lives.
- Monitor your children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of kids' reach. Develop and reinforce rules about acceptable and safe behaviors including electronic media.
- Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so be careful to never leave fireplaces, space heaters, stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
- Prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures, and refrigerate promptly.
- Eat healthy and get moving. Eat fruits and vegetables. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat and sugar. Be active for at least 2½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
Guthrie Health is a community-based, not-for-profit health care system jointly formed by Guthrie Healthcare System (GHS) and Guthrie Clinic, also not-for-profit health care organizations. GHS provides inpatient, outpatient and home-based services through Corning Hospital, Troy Community Hospital, Robert Packer Hospital, and Guthrie Home Care and Guthrie Hospice. Guthrie Clinic provides primary and specialty physician services at 25 regional clinics. Guthrie Health provides care for 200,000 patients annually within its eleven-county area service area across the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York.