- The calories add up—directly and indirectly. Alcohol is not a zero-calorie drink. All those yummy holiday specialty drinks oftentimes contain high amounts of sugar (including calories). Additionally, as we become intoxicated, we are less likely to maintain portion control and opt for healthy food choices. Alcohol can also interfere with deep sleep cycles, leaving us feeling exhausted the following day.
- On the rocks, please! When ice melts, it dilutes the alcoholic drink and can help put a speed bump in the way of getting buzzed or drunk. Drink responsibly!
- Alternate. Choose a non-alcoholic drink like water or an iced tea in place of or after each alcoholic drink. In addition to hydrating you, it will help fill up your stomach and prevent you from drinking too much alcohol.
- Hand washing. This is one of the most important, and easiest, ways to stay healthy. After all, our 2 hands and 10 fingers are weapons of mass infection. Proper technique involves rinsing with water and soap for 20 seconds.
- Flu shot. Every year, an estimated 15-60 million Americans become ill with the flu, hundreds more require hospitalization, and many others die. The flu shot is the most effective method to decrease these events.
- Cover our mouths. Use a tissue, upper sleeve, or elbow to cover our mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Throw away the tissue and wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer each time. This will help prevent the spread of germs.
- Get Rest. While we sleep, our immune system works to fortify its defenses against foreign germ invaders. A lack of sleep can hinder our body’s ability to recharge our immune system.
- Travel safely. Millions of Americans hit the roads to travel during the holiday season. Always buckle up and make sure that all passengers are safely secured before starting the vehicle. Never text while driving. Pay strict attention to speed limits. And never drink and drive; appoint a designated driver or call a friend or taxi for a ride home.
- Decorations. A “Winter Wonderland” is dreamy. But the process can be downright dangerous as people go “Up on the House Top.” Too many outdoor holiday decorators become paralyzed after falling from a ladder or roof while decorating. Consider hiring a professional, doing without or exercising the utmost of safety precautions when doing so. The personal risks outweighs any outdoor light stringing benefits.
- Fires. Incident data shows that the greatest number of home fires occur during the winter months. When using candles, make sure they are out of reach from children, pets, heavy traffic and surroundings. Read and follow fire safety precautions with Christmas lighting. And test your home smoke detectors to ensure they are functional and have new batteries.
From my heart to yours, let’s wish for “Joy to the World” and “Peace on Earth,” while we “Jingle Bell Rock,” and cherish peace on a “Silent Night.” Stay safe and healthy during the holiday season.
Joseph DeMaria, Ph.D., President & CEO, Americana Safety