The holidays are a magical time with family, friends and cheer. I don’t want to be a Grinch, but ‘tis also the season to be extra mindful of your health. There are some holiday hazards that can be avoided so you and your loved ones can celebrate for years to come.
We tend to stray from our normal routines during this time of year. New cooking techniques, different foods, decorating materials and their methods can pose some risks. And that’s before the rest of the family gets there! I composed a list of some things to remember so your holiday celebration will come off without a hitch.
Holiday Food Factor
When visions of sugarplums are dancing in your head, it can be hard to think about calories. Unfortunately, the holidays are a time for chocolate, sugar, fat and salt. All of which should be used in moderation. Try to put an equal amount of healthy and sweet snacks out for your guests.
Don’t let anyone drink too much, either. Sure, alcohol is full of empty calories, but it can also lead to some awkward moments at family gatherings. If people drink, encourage them to eat some food first. Drinking on an empty stomach is asking for trouble.
You won’t avoid the extra calories that come with the season. Don’t expect to. You can help to lessen the damage by adding some exercise to your day. Take a walk with your family and enjoy each other’s company along the way. If the weather allows, play a game outside.
Other Holiday Dangers
Holiday decorations can be filled with tasty looking pieces that come off easily. Don’t let children or pets chew on things that could become lodged in their throats or are toxic. That’s right, toxic. Holly and mistletoe are poisonous, so you may not want to deck the halls with the real stuff if you’re going to have children or animals over.
Choking on food is also a possibility. Make sure to take small bites and chew slowly. Know how to perform the proper emergency techniques if someone shows signs of choking.
Use caution when decorating. It isn’t often you are running garland along your ceiling. Secure your stepstool or ladder on level ground and stay centered. Decorate with a helper if only to make sure you aren’t alone if you fall.
Of course there is the possibility of your tree catching fire. You might be thinking, “That old chestnut?” But, between the years of 2007-2011, fire departments in the U.S. responded to an average 230 house fires that began that way. It is no joke. An average of 6 people a year died over that same time.
Relax. If you experience high levels of stress, let someone know. Things will never be perfect. Your guests, friends and family members know that. Enjoy the time you have with them and forget about the performance.
The holidays are a time for happiness. Use your head and make sure your house is a safe and healthy environment for everyone in it. With some forethought, your celebration will be one to remember.
Keep your sleigh bells ringing,
The Omidi Brothers, Michael Omidi and Julian Omidi, are cofounders of several charities, including No More Poverty, The Children’s Obesity Fund, and Animal Support. Their work supports the betterment of creatures large and small.