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Stay Safe and Healthy This Holiday Season
posted on November 24, 2009 16:42
Stay Safe and Healthy This
Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, a time when many people will be traveling to visit family and celebrating with traditional meals. Following a few health and safety tips can help keep the festivities fun and enjoyable.
Protect yourself and others from the flu during holiday travel:
Get vaccinated for both seasonal and H1N1 influenza if you are in a recommended group, cover your cough with a tissue or sleeve, and wash your hands often.
Travel only when you are feeling well. If you have flu symptoms, wait to travel until at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without using fever-reducing medicines.
Stay safe if you’re driving:
Check winter road and weather conditions in
or visiting 511.idaho.gov.
Watch out for ice on the road, especially in shady spots and under bridges, and don’t drive through snow ejected from a snowplow—it can throw your car out of control.
Keep your windows, mirrors, and lights clear of snow and ice; check tires, brakes, batteries, fluids, and the heater before you go. Carry emergency supplies in the car.
Share travel plans with others and designate a sober driver before going to an event where alcohol is served.
Keep your holiday meals safe:
Wash your hands and food preparation surfaces often – especially if you are preparing a salad or other dish that will not be cooked before eating.
Make sure food is cooked completely (see table). Use a food thermometer – the color of meat is not a reliable method for determining if it is fully cooked.
Rapidly cool foods made ahead of time to 41°F or less within four hours.
Don’t keep foods at room temperature for more than four hours.
Minimum cooking temperature
Beef, fish, pork
Be mindful of calories as you celebrate:
Eat a light, healthy snack before heading out for your holiday dinner, such as fresh fruit or a small bowl of cereal with low fat milk.
Modify recipes to reduce fat and calories. For example, instead of using full-fat dairy products, substitute low-fat milk or part-skim cheese.
Limit your alcoholic beverage intake. Alcoholic drinks can add a lot of calories to your meal. Choose water instead.
Stay physically active over the holidays. Make it a point to go to the gym. If it’s not too cold, bundle up and go for a walk with your entire family and group of friends with whom you are spending the holidays. Physical activity reduces stress and keeps you in a healthy routine.
Don’t put your health on hold over the holidays. Planning ahead to ensure safe travel and healthy food preparation can ensure a happy, healthy holiday season that everyone will enjoy.
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