There’s nothing like the holidays. For many people, the holidays mean reuniting with family and friends, lots of hugs, handshakes and – So. Many. Germs. (Of course, the holidays are in the heart of flu season!) We’ve pulled together some tips for staying healthy during the holiday season, so your New Year is merry too.
hands every chance you get. This is great advice for adults and children
alike. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Especially
after greeting family or friends. You may want to bring along a couple travel
size bottles of hand lotion. All that washing can dry your skin.
up! Depending on where you are celebrating, wear weather appropriate clothing
and outerwear. Doing your best to stay dry and warm will help keep you well.
stress. Well, manage your stress. The most wonderful time of the year is
often the busiest. Take time out for yourself and your family if you are
feeling overwhelmed. Seek support from family and friends and get your sleep.
eyes on children. When you’re hosting or part of a large gathering, it’s
easy to lose track of kids. Keep potentially dangerous decorations, candles,
drinks and food away from children. Work with the other adults in attendance to
ensure someone always has an eye on the children in the group.
and consume food safely. Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and
surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures
and refrigerate foods promptly. If you aren’t sure about the hygiene of the
kitchen or the length of time the food has been sitting out, don’t eat anything
that can potentially get you sick.
of yourself. Get your annual exams checked off for the year or catch up on
your vaccines over the holidays.
In spite of your best efforts, if you catch something other than the holiday spirit this season, don’t stress. IHA Urgent Care locations have holiday hours. Don’t spend your holiday waiting in a waiting room. Save your spot in line at an Urgent Care location near you, and wait at home.
12 Safety Tips for a Merry & Bright Holiday Season
The holiday season is downright magical. The lights! The cherished
family ornaments! The candles, plants and tree! After the first holiday season
with an active child, we quickly realize all decorations aren’t made to be
kid-friendly. It takes some effort from the grown-ups to ensure little ones are
safe while celebrating the magic of the season. Luckily, The American Academy
of Pediatrics created a list of tips to keep everyone in your home safe, and
the holidays merry.
When purchasing a live tree, check for
freshness. The needles should be hard to pull off, and should not easily break
when you bend them. When you tap the tree on the ground, only a few needles
should fall off. Cut a few inches off the bottom of the trunk before putting it
in the stand, and be sure to keep the stand filled with water.
If you have an artificial tree, make sure it’s
labeled “Fire Resistant.”
When setting up a tree at home, place it away
from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way
of traffic and do not block doorways.
Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant
materials to trim a tree.
Check all lights before hanging them on a tree
or in your home, even if you have just purchased them. Make sure all the bulbs
work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.
Be cautious about trimmings that may contain
lead. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded materials.
Light strands may contain lead in the bulb sockets and wire coating, sometimes
in high amounts. Make sure your lights are out of reach of young children who
might try to put lights in their mouths, and wash your hands after handling
Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be
sure they have been certified for outdoor use. To hold lights in place, string
them through hooks or insulated staples, not nails or tacks. Never pull or tug
lights to remove them. Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with
ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks. And, watch your step
if using a ladder to deck your halls.
When lighting candles, remove flammable
materials from the area, and place the candles where they will not be knocked
over. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Do not use lighted candles on a
tree or near other evergreens.
In homes with small children, take special care
to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable. Keep trimmings with small
removable parts out of the reach of children to prevent them from swallowing or
inhaling small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may
tempt a young child to eat them.
Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation
while decorating with spun glass “angel hair.” Follow container
directions carefully to avoid lung irritation while decorating with artificial
Remove all wrapping papers, bags, paper, ribbons
and bows from tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened. These items can
pose suffocation and choking hazards to a small child, or can cause a fire if
Keep potentially poisonous holiday plant
decorations, including mistletoe berries, Jerusalem cherry, and holly berry,
away from children, and pets too.
Don’t forget: When you leave your home or head to bed for the
night, take a look around to be sure all decorations are turned off, candles
are blown out and nothing is stirring (not even a mouse).
IHA Urgent Care is open on holidays!If your little sugarplumb experiences an injury or illness this holiday season, we’re here to help, and are open on holidays. Save your spot in line at an IHA Urgent Care location near you.
Fifteen minutes. According to the Center for Disease Control, that’s all it takes for the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays to damage your skin. When you’re on beach or pool time, 15 minutes goes by quickly. It feels great to soak up those rays, but they are harming your skin and are putting you at risk for long-term skin damage and worse, skin cancer. Before you head out into the sun for the day, take some time and precautions to keep yourself and your family safe all summer long, and you’ll be golden for some fun in the sun!
It’s one of the easiest ways to prevent skin cancer. Look for a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB, an SPF of at least 30, and water resistant. When applying sunscreen, more is more. You want to be sure to get a thick layer of sunscreen on your skin in order for the SPF to do its job. For an average size person, remember the teaspoon rule, and adjust for all ages and body types:1 teaspoon to the face/neck/scalp1 teaspoon for each arm1 teaspoon to the chest and abdomen1 teaspoon to the back2 teaspoons for each leg
Sunblock lotions are the preferred choice, but if you are using a spray sunscreen, apply outside by holding the bottle close to the skin and spray on each area for approximately 6 seconds, or until the sunscreen is visible on the skin (typically, when it looks white). Then, rub it in. Don’t apply spray sunscreen directly to the face. Instead, spray generously into your hand and apply to your face as you would a lotion. Don’t forget to apply a lip balm with an SPF of 30, too!
Sunscreen will wear off throughout the day. Be sure to reapply every two hours and following exposure to water or sweat.
If you’re avoiding sunscreen because you don’t like how it feels on your skin or you had an allergic reaction, try another type or brand. There are a variety of choices by a variety of brands, so if you aren’t happy with one, try another until you find one that works with your skin. You may want to make an appointment with your primary care provider or dermatologist to discuss your individual needs. After all, the best sunscreen is the one you will wear!
Avoid exposure between 10 am and 4 pm
Have you heard of the shadow rule? If your shadow is shorten than you are in real life, the sun’s rays are strong. During this time, you should avoid exposure or follow precautions to protect yourself and your family. For our region in the Midwest, the sun is most intense from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., so you’ll want to be the most vigilante in protecting your skin during this time.
Your eyes will absorb those harmful rays much like your skin does. Look for sunglasses that block and absorb UVA and UVB light. The lenses should fit close to the skin and be large enough to cover your eyes and the surrounding areas. The bigger the better! Polarized lenses will help eliminate glare, which is great for driving or days in the water or snow.
Drink more water
When you’re sweating, you are losing water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially in hot weather to keep dehydration at bay. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Also, look for signs of heat exhaustion such as; feeling overheated, tired or weak. Nausea, headaches and dizziness are also indications that it’s time to get out of the sun, cool down and drink some water. Heat stroke is a more serious condition. If you or someone in your family stops sweating, has red and/or hot skin, a high temperature, confusion or is suddenly uncoordinated, seek medical attention right away.
Go Long!: Wear Protective Clothing
Long-sleeved shirts and long pants provide an extra layer of protection while spending time out in the sun. Look for clothing made with tightly woven fabrics. Those linen pants aren’t going to protect you from the sun, so be sure to wear sunscreen underneath. When playing the water, look for bathing suits that feature a sun shirt, especially for little ones.
Hats Off ON!: Wear a Broad Rimmed hat
Wearing a hat with a full brim is a great way to protect the scalp, ears, face and neck from exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Tightly woven fabric is the key to a good hat, straw hats are cute, but don’t provide the protection you need. When purchasing sun hats for the family, be sure to pick the correct sizes for each person. Kids will pull off a hat that slips down over their eyes.Seek the shade & avoid direct sunlight
Trees or shelters block the sun’s UV rays and provide ultimate protection. Seek out these spaces when spending time outdoors to help protect yourself and your family from painful sunburns and help reduce the risk of skin cancer. When you can’t find shade, make it! Invest in a beach umbrella or tent to shield your family from the sunlight.
Be cautious of reflections
Your exposure to the sun’s rays increases when the sun shines onto and reflects off of bright surfaces, like water, sand or house paint, for example. When spending time near a reflective surface, ensure everyone is sporting sunglasses and sunscreen or protective clothing are being used consistently.
Don’t. Tan skin is damaged skin and the impact can last or even shorten a lifetime. Tanning should not be part of a beauty regiment at any point in a person’s life.
Protection 365 Days
Skin cancer prevention is not seasonal. Sure, we wear less clothing and spend more time outside in the sun’s rays during the summer months, but protection from those rays is just as important during the winter months. UV rays reflect off snow just as they do off of sand, water and concrete. Apply sunscreen to the face and any other exposed skin, wear sunglasses and lip balm every day. When it comes to sun safety, there’s a lot of information to soak in. Download this handy checklist and keep it in your beach bag to help ensure you and your family are covered for summer skin protection.
For questions concerning dangers to your skin from the sun, consult with your dermatologist.
It’s easy to schedule an appointment with your dermatology provider – simply visit our online appointment tool, scroll to find your dermatology provider, and click to schedule an appointment at a time that works for your family!
It’s easy to schedule an appointment with your provider – simply visit our online appointment tool, scroll to find your provider, and click to schedule an appointment at a time that works for your family!