SATURDAY, Dec. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Give yourself and your loved ones the gifts of health and safety this holiday season, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests.
The agency outlines 12 ways to do that, beginning with a reminder that washing your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds helps prevent the spread of germs. That precaution is particularly important as the Omicron variant surges across the United States and the flu season returns.
Here are some other recommendations from the CDC:
When heading outside, wear appropriate clothing such as light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves and waterproof boots.
Manage stress by seeking support, connecting with others and getting plenty of sleep.
Don't drink and drive, and don't let others drink and drive.
Use seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle, and always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt according to their height, weight and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip.
Don't smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks, but nonsmokers are also at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
Get health exams and screenings. Ask your health care provider what exams/screenings you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history.
Get required vaccinations, which help prevent diseases and save lives. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.
Keep children safe by placing potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items and other objects out of their reach. Protect them from drowning, burns, falls and other potential accidents.
Think about fire safety. Don't leave fireplaces, space heaters, candles or food cooking on stoves unattended. Have an emergency fire plan and practice it regularly.
Ensure food safety by washing hands and surfaces often, avoiding cross-contamination, cooking foods to proper temperatures and refrigerating leftovers promptly.
Eat healthy and stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables and limit portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt and sugar. Adults should get at least 2½ hours a week of physical activity, and children and teens should be active for at least 1 hour a day.
For more on holiday safety, go to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release
For Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts members
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is a leading provider of quality health insurance for residents of Massachusetts. Our main goal is to make health care cost-effective by offering health insurance solutions for individuals, families, and large and small businesses at affordable rates.
Our Vision — Making Quality Health Care AffordableOur Promise — To Always Put Our Members First
To learn more about our Massachusetts health plans, please visit our Plans & Products page, where you can compare Massachusetts health insurance plans, buy health plans online, and get Mass health insurance quotes.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts also offers insurance, pharmacy coverage, and Medicare Plans for seniors; life and disability insurance through Indigo Insurance Services (a wholly owned subsidiary); and insurance for individuals aged 18-26 years. Learn more about our other insurance plans and Medicare plans, or contact a sales representative today.