Published on November 30, 2018
Grand Rapids Business Journal (@GRBJ) Health Care Blog
The holiday season should be filled with enjoyable time with family and friends, not illness and injury.
The Great Lakes Health Connect team understands the importance of keeping Michiganders healthy and safe, so keep these five tips in mind when you’re celebrating this year!
Spread joy, not germs
Catching the flu or getting food poisoning are two presents that no one wants to receive during the holidays. Washing your hands with soap and water before and after preparing food, after using the bathroom, and after sneezing will help prevent the spread of germs.
Keep your house from being the wrong kind of “lit”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 800 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, in 2012-2016. These fires caused an annual average of two civilian fire deaths, 34 civilian fire injuries and $11 million in direct property damage. To keep the celebration from being too “lit”, keep trees and decorations away from chimneys and radiators.
Indulging in holiday spirits is a tradition for some individuals and families during the holiday season. Alcohol.com reports that Americans spent $9.7 billion on beer and $4.8 billion on wine during the 2015 holiday season. Sip smarter this year by remembering to drink water, keep track of the number of alcoholic drinks you consume, and never drink and drive.
Getting outdoors during the holiday season is a great way to stay active and to enjoy the winter wonderland. The cold weather, however, does present some risks. Frostbite can occur rather quickly after exposure to extremely cold temperatures. Stay warm and dry by wearing layers and getting into a warm room as soon as possible if signs of frostbite are recognized.
Plan safe and stress-free travels
According to AAA, in 2017, the majority of holiday travelers traveled by car to visit family and friends (a 3 percent year-over-year increase). To make sure you reach your destination safely and free of stress, ensure your vehicle has been properly maintained, map out your route, and wear seatbelts at all times.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts to avoid it, an illness or injury does occur during the holidays while we are away from home. On those occasions, it is encouraging to know that Michigan’s healthcare providers work together to make sure they have the most up-to-date medical information available.
Great Lakes Health Connect, a nonprofit organization, operates the largest connected network of healthcare providers and organizations in the state. This assures that healthcare providers have the information they need, where and when they need it, in order to deliver the best care possible.
By working together to prevent illness, avoid injury, and coordinate health information exchange, we can all get back to enjoying the holiday season with family and friends!