Tis the season for winter and holiday fun, but the dangers of the season can ruin everyone’s spirit, so remember to beware of these top 12 winter holiday hazards:
12. Overspending- This year it’s estimated that Americans will spend over $900 BILLION dollars on the holidays! Do yourself a favor by not overindulging with the presents. This only leads to unnecessary financial stress and prevents you from truly enjoying the season.
11. Over-drinking– If you enjoy a drink this time of year, great, but remember to not overindulge. Always plan ahead with a designated driver or better yet, be the most popular person at the party, by volunteering to be the DD.
10. Overeating- We’ve all done it, and this time of year it’s especially easy to do. It’s best to have a plan of attack, before hitting the holiday parties. Try eating a small, healthy meal before the party and limit your buffet selections. You and your scale will be thankful, come January.
9. Gastrointestinal Disorders- The holiday season often comes with nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Don’t get your guests sick from that undercooked turkey. Prevent the spread of stomach viruses by washing your hands and be careful with food prep and storage.
8. Stress- Shopping, wrapping, work, kids, family dinners, bills… it all adds up exponentially! This extra stress can lead to illness, road rage, even a heart attack. Remember to take it all in stride and ask for help, say no to added tasks, stick to your budget, and take care of your health.
7. Poisoning- Family visiting for the holidays? Make sure medications and your toddler stay separated! Keep holiday plants or décor out of the reach of small children too. Children under two account for 1/3 of the million calls to US poison centers.
6. Hypothermia- Children are oblivious to cold and could play for hours in blowing snow, but make sure they are bundled up and monitored. Adults, on the other hand, have varying degrees of tolerance and should be prepared with appropriate outdoor gear for the occasion and duration.
5. Toy Recalls/Choking Hazards- Choking hazards cause thousands of annual ER visits. Given children’s curiosity, there are a lot of potential hazards. Be vigilant this holiday season and don’t give kids small items that may cause choking, follow age guidelines when selecting toys, and select sturdy toys with no loose parts. For a list of toy recalls, check out: www.recalls.gov.
4. Falls- Wet or snowy surfaces cause thousands of serious injuries and broken bones. To help avoid a trip to the ER, be prepared! Shovel your walks and steps, keep hand railings clear, light your porches, and apply snowmelt to surfaces.
3. Automobile Accidents- Do not underestimate the road conditions with ice, snow, and low visibility. Be prepared with an auto emergency road kit, blanket, and tools. Make sure you and your children are restrained in age-appropriate car seats. Buckle-up and use caution!
2. Influenza- Get your flu vaccine and COVID boosters! The holiday travel season helps spread several illnesses. If you are visiting grandma this year, you owe it to her not to give an unwanted gift with serious health consequences.
1. Colds- People are inside more during the winter months and a bit more crowded, so we always see a seasonal increase in the number of colds. So, take good care of yourself and wash your hands often!