Healthy hol­i­day primer

a sea­sonal list of re­minders to en­joy your tid­ings safely

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - NEWS - DR. PAUL ROUMELIOTIS

as we ap­proach the fes­tive hol­i­day sea­son, I want to list some rel­e­vant health and safety tips as a healthy hol­i­day primer.

Christ­mas safety

• If dec­o­rat­ing a real christ­mas tree, make sure it’ s fresh, water it daily and that it is placed away from heat­ing vents, ra­di­a­tors, stoves, fire­places and burn­ing can­dles;

• make sure your tree is well-se­cured in a sturdy stand, away from high-traf­fic ar­eas and door­ways and out of the reach of young chil­dren;

• Keep metal, sharp or break­able tree or­na­ments with small re­mov­able parts away from young chil­dren;

• Fol­low the age ranges on pack­ages, as toys that are too ad­vanced could be haz­ardous for younger chil­dren. make sure that there are no parts of the toy that could be swal­lowed or could choke a child;

•hol­i­day plants are quite at­trac­tive to chil­dren, but po­ten­tially toxic. so plants such as mistle­toe, holly and rhodo­den­dron should be out of the reach of chil­dren at all times; and,

•Gift wrap­ping of­ten con­tains toxic me­tals; there­fore chil­dren should not be al­lowed to chew them. do not burn wrap­ping pa­per in the fire­place as this may give off toxic fumes.

Party safety

• when vis­it­ing other peo­ple’s homes, re­mem­ber their house may not be child-proof or “baby-safe.” upon ar­rival at a party or friend’s house, look around to make sure that there are no ob­vi­ous haz­ards to your child;

• If you go to a party or gath­er­ing with­out the chil­dren, be sure your babysit­ter knows where and how to reach you. all emer­gency num­bers should be clearly posted so the babysit­ter can use them if needed;

•If you are host­ing, of­fer your guests non-al­co­holic drinks along with the reg­u­lar party food and drinks; and,

•of course, it can never say this too of­ten: don’ t drink al­co­holic bev­er­ages or con­sume cannabis and drive.

Food safety

• wash your hands well af­ter han­dling raw meat, poul­try, fish, and fresh pro­duce, be­fore eat­ing, af­ter us­ing the wash room and af­ter chang­ing a di­a­per;

• Throw away any food that has been sit­ting un­re­frig­er­ated for more than two hours;

• eat re­frig­er­ated left­overs within three days— or freeze them; and,

• Throw away any un­eaten left­overs af­ter they’ve been re­heated and don’t re­heat left­overs twice.

Pre­vent­ing in­fec­tions

hol­i­day gath­er­ings are an ideal place for germs to spread di­rectly from one per­son to an­other. also, germs can spread in­di­rectly as they can live for up to a day on sur­faces such as key­boards, tele­phones, remote con­trol, ta­ble tops and door han­dles. here as some gen­eral in­fec­tion pre­ven­tion tips:

•wash your hands af­ter any con­tact with your mouth or nose, es­pe­cially be­fore and af­ter meals or snacks and cough or sneeze into your sleeve;

• any­one who comes in close con­tact with some­one with the flu or a cold should wash their hands be­fore and af­ter con­tact;

• use fa­cial tis­sues for runny noses and to catch sneezes and im­me­di­ately put them into the garbage af­ter each use; and,

• dis­in­fect sur­faces or items like door­knobs, toi­let han­dles, and coun­ter­tops and even on toys. use a dis­in­fec­tant or soap and hot water to keep th­ese ar­eas clean.

I wish you and yours a merry christ­mas and happy new year!

GETTY IM­AGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

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