As we approach the festive holiday season, I want to list some relevant health and safety tips as a healthy holiday primer.
- If decorating a real Christmas tree, make sure it’s fresh, water it daily and place it 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 and therefore children should not be allowed to chew it. Do not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace as this may give off toxic fumes.
- 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 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.
- Wash your hands very well after handling raw meat, poultry, fish, and fresh produce, before eating, after using the washroom 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.
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 controls, 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!