DOC Urgent Care’s Guide to a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season

The cold weather, frequent travel, and increase of indoor social interactions during the holidays can pose a threat to the health and safety of our loved ones; that’s DOCS Urgent Care in Fairfield, Norwalk, & Bridgeport put together a comprehensive guide to a Happy, Healthy Holiday season, to keep you and your loved ones safe this year.


Travel

The Holiday season means travel season. In order to stay safe on the roads this winter, it’s best to start by inspecting your vehicle to make sure it doesn’t have any issues. If you’re experiencing any hardware issues with your car, take your vehicle to a local mechanic to have everything checked out and approved. And no matter what season it is, make sure every passenger in the vehicle is buckled up. To avoid any distraction, put your cell phone away, and keep both hands free at all times.

For those taking public or commercial transportation, remember to be careful of what you touch; public restrooms, doorknobs, armrests and tabletops are germ and bacteria hot spots. To avoid contamination, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face and mouth, and carry hand sanitizer with you wherever you go, especially if you are traveling long distances, as your immune system may be dealing with germs and bacteria it has never encountered before.

Lastly, it is crucial to keep a first aid kit on you at all times. Travel companion kits usually contain this, and there are a large variety of commercially available first aid travel kits which are designed to be kept discretely in your vehicle, or in your carry-on luggage.

Holiday Meals

When you think of the holidays, delicious food is likely the very first item which crosses your mind; roast beef, mashed potatoes, and pecan pie are among our favorites as Americans; but did you know food-borne illness is the cause of over 76 million hospital visits each year according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention? You can easily prevent an accident in four simple steps:

Cleanliness: Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling food.

Separate: Use different cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and fresh produce. Keep seafood, raw turkey, roasts, hams and other meats and their juices separate from other side dishes when preparing meals. 

Cook: Cook meat and poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature: turkey, stuffing, casseroles, and leftovers to 165 F; beef, veal and lamb roasts to 145 F, “fully cooked” ham to 140 F and fresh ham, pork and egg dishes to 160 F.

Chill: Chill food promptly. Keep the fridge at 40 F or below to prevent bacteria from growing. Custard pie and other egg dishes should always be kept cool. Put leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours.

Keep Your Loved Ones Safe

General housekeeping, fire safety and prevention procedures and attentive parenting are your best friends this winter, and can help prevent a number of accidents from spoiling this holiday season.

Around the House 

  • Whenever it snows, remember to shovel/plow all walkways/driveways in order to avoid slips and falls.
  • When hanging lights or decorations, remember to use a proper step ladder, not boxes or furniture to avoid injuries.
  • Keep  dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items and other objects out of children’s reach


Fire Safety

  • Remember to unplug your tree, or any other lit fixture at night or when unattended.
  • Clean your chimney and fireplace at least once a year and put a screen in front of any open flame indoors.
  • Keep candles on stable surfaces, or refrain from using them altogether; their electric alternatives are much safer and carry much lower risk.

Mind the Kids 

It’s no secret kids love to play in the snow! This Holiday season, remind your children to bundle up and stay dry when playing outside, as they run the risk of picking up pneumonia or frost bite from the freezing temperatures, and make sure they aren’t playing outside after the sun goes down, as temperatures can drop dramatically in a short amount of time.

It’s also wise to vaccinate every member of your family to prevent them from contracting any new type of virus, especially the flu!

Stay up to date with which toys are being recalled, as their seems to be a new defective children’s toy every year. Be aware of the dangers of lithium coin batteries which are in many popular electronic children’s toys.


And remember, from the staff at DOCS Urgent Care, to have a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season!