What Health Risks Do You Face? How Can Health Risks Be Reduced During Christmas?
The Christmas celebration season is upon us, and while we all want to enjoy the festivities, there are potential health threats to be aware of. Numerous things can negatively affect our health during the holiday season, from overeating to possible flu infections.
Here are some tips on reducing health threats to ensure you stay safe and healthy during the Christmas celebrations:
- First, make sure you drink plenty of water. When alcohol is consumed, it dehydrates your body which can lead to a headache or lightheadedness, which then increases your risk for falls.
- Second, avoid overdoing it with food. It’s easy to indulge at parties and get caught up in the joyous atmosphere but try not to overdo it as this will lead to weight gain and higher cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, which can cause heart disease.
- Third, get plenty of sleep when possible, as lack of sleep has been linked with moodiness and anxiety, which may cause irritability or fatigue. Keep up a healthy diet by opting for lean proteins like chicken and fish instead of red meats like beef and pig, which are heavy in saturated fat and raise the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol (cholesterol).
- Fifth, limit alcohol intake. Alcohol is full of calories and can increase your risk for certain types of cancer, such as liver cancer, if you drink more than one or two drinks per day, so it’s important to limit these beverages.
- Sixth, don’t smoke cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes also increases your risk for certain cancers and diseases, so why would anyone do this knowing they could potentially suffer serious health consequences?
- Seventh, take care of yourself! Try to have time alone where you focus on relaxing without interruptions to reduce stress levels, which could lead to physical symptoms like insomnia, headaches, or irritable bowel syndrome.
The Top 7 Health Risks This Christmas
Let’s take a look at the top seven health risks you may face this Christmas and what you can do to avoid them:
1. Overeating / Food Poisoning
Christmas is a joyous celebration, but unfortunately, it can also be a time of some health threats. One of the top health threats during the Christmas celebration is overeating and food poisoning.
Whether preparing a traditional feast or eating out at a restaurant, it is essential to practice safe eating and follow the Christmas health tips to prevent food poisoning. Overeating is a common problem during Christmas due to the abundance of holiday foods. Overeating can lead to physical discomforts such as stomach aches, fatigue, and dehydration. High blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease are just some additional conditions that may become more likely if you have them.
To avoid overeating, try to make healthier food choices such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat smaller portions, take your time with meals, and remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Food poisoning is another health risk that can occur during the Christmas season. As people prepare big feasts for family and friends, there’s an increased risk of foodborne illness. To reduce your risk, practice proper food safety and storage techniques.
Ensure food is cooked correctly, and promptly store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Additionally, keep track of how long food has been stored in the fridge and throw out any that has been there too long. So when you’re getting ready for your next Christmas festival or Christmas celebration, remember to keep these critical Christmas health tips in mind.
2. Decoration Accidents
The second most significant health risk during the Christmas season is decorational accidents. While it’s true that decorations can add cheer and holiday spirit, they can also be hazardous if not properly handled. Between 2008 and 2017, Christmas decorations were responsible for the emergency room visits of as many as 134,281 persons. Unfortunately, many of these accidents involve children and elderly individuals who are more likely to be injured.
To ensure your holiday decorations are enjoyed safely, here are some helpful Christmas health tips: Make sure to keep small decorations away from children and pets, as they can easily swallow them. Also, take care when using ladders or climbing furniture to hang lights or decorations, as falls can occur. Lastly, always use the correct wattage when using electrical lights, and do not overload the outlets. With proper precautions, you can ensure a safe and happy holiday season.
3. Christmas Tree Syndrome
Christmas Tree Syndrome is one of the top health threats associated with Christmas. It is caused by excessive mold and dust being released from live Christmas trees into your home’s air supply. Asthma attacks, allergic responses, and sinus infections are all rising. Since nearly 30% of holiday decorations contain molds capable of causing severe health problems, it’s not difficult to understand that about 13% of Americans suffer from mold allergies during Christmas. However, the referenced research is limited, and the nature of mold allergy is poorly known.
Christmas trees can also be a source of bacteria and fungi that can cause various illnesses. Consequently, preparing to safeguard your loved ones this Christmas season is crucial. Start by making sure to purchase a fresh, healthy tree from a reputable seller, and if you’re buying a live tree, inspect it for signs of mold or mildew before bringing it inside. It’s also wise to vacuum the tree before bringing it into your home, as this will remove any loose needles and dust particles that may have accumulated on the branches.
Additionally, avoid placing your tree near heating vents, as this can accelerate the spread of mold and dust particles into your home’s air supply. Finally, clean the tree daily and keep it away from open flames, as dry trees can become a fire hazard. By following these Christmas health tips, you can avoid the potential risks associated with Christmas Tree Syndrome this holiday season.
4. Common Cold
The common cold is one of the top seven health threats that people may face during the Christmas festival. Unfortunately, it is also the most likely health risk that can occur. During the winter, cold and flu viruses are more easily spread in crowded environments such as those experienced during a Christmas celebration. It’s essential to know the signs of the common cold and to take good care of yourself to avoid getting sick over the holidays. During the holiday season, loved ones gather to celebrate, but it’s also vital to take care of yourself.
Common cold symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, body aches, fatigue, and fever. Those at risk of catching a cold are recommended to wear a mask while out in public and avoid large gatherings. Additionally, people should wash their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer. Other helpful Christmas health tips include drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding contact with sick people, and getting plenty of rest.
5. Cuts And Burns
Cuts and burns are common hazards of the Christmas festival, but they can be easily avoided. During this joyous season, there are numerous opportunities for injury. In a recent survey, (13%) of people who were harmed on holiday said they cut themselves while wrapping or opening gifts. During the holiday celebration, it is crucial to be careful when handling knives and other cooking implements that could cause cuts or burns. Always use appropriate protective clothing and wear oven mitts when handling hot items.
Additionally, keep knives away from children and supervise them when they are near sharp objects. Finally, create a designated food preparation and cleanup area to avoid slips and falls. Following these simple Christmas health tips can help ensure that your holiday is free of cuts and burns.
6. Heart Attack
A heart attack is the sixth of the top health risks you may face this Christmas. During the Christmas season, people tend to engage in activities that can put them at risk of suffering a heart attack. The abundance of food and drink available during the Christmas festival and the extra stress of Christmas preparations and family gatherings can put an extra strain on your heart. It’s vital to listen to your body and rest when it tells you to, even if you’re in the midst of a Christmas party.
If you are feeling chest pain, difficulty breathing, or dizziness, it is essential to seek medical help immediately. Regular exercise, eating healthy food, and limiting alcohol consumption can help reduce the chances of a heart attack. Other Christmas health tips include avoiding smoking and keeping a watchful eye on your blood pressure. Taking time to look after your health over Christmas can help keep you safe from unnecessary health threats.
7. Depression / Anxiety
At Christmas, friends, and family come together to celebrate the season. However, this is also a time of increased melancholy and nervousness for some. The holiday season is often a trigger for people who struggle with mental health issues and can lead to feeling overwhelmed and stressed. ValuePenguin recently polled 2,100 Americans and found that 55% are feeling down and lonely this holiday season, with 35% saying it’s worse than last year.
For those with existing depression or anxiety, the time leading up to Christmas can feel like an even more significant challenge. It’s important to recognize these signs and take steps to address them if you feel like your mental health is being affected during the Christmas season. Many people have increased sadness and worry throughout the holiday season, but there are ways to cope. One way is to set realistic goals for yourself and your family and to acknowledge that things won’t always go perfectly. It’s essential to be realistic about how much you can achieve.
Another tip is to practice self-care by taking breaks when needed and ensuring you get enough rest, exercise, and nutritious food. Creating a routine that includes activities that make you feel good, like yoga, meditation, reading, or listening to music, can help you manage your stress levels during Christmas. It’s also important to recognize that it’s ok to say no. Take time to consider what events you want to attend and what commitments you can take on without feeling overwhelmed. Asking for help from family and friends can also be beneficial.
Finally, if the festive season negatively impacts your mental health, consider reaching out for support from professionals or organizations such as Mental Health America or NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). With the proper support and understanding, anyone can get through the Christmas festival with their mental health intact. With simple Christmas health tips, you can ensure this season is as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.