Ho Ho Ho Holiday Safety Reminders
The season is filled with celebration, travel, family, and get-togethers. Unfortunately, ‘tis also the season of accidents, depression, stress and an overabundance of buffets and booze. It is common for physicians, clinics and emergency departments to see an uptick in patients between Thanksgiving and the New Year. We see everything from food poisoning to depression and from falls to lacerations.
Topping the list of reasons to seek medical attention are sprains, strains and broken bones caused by slips or falls. While the obvious culprits such as ladders, heavy snow shoveling or snow activities along with wintery conditions may cause accidents, don’t forget that loose rugs and cords that comes with the holiday season also account for a number of stumbles and falls, especially among the elderly. Additionally, if both children and elderly are together in a home, be sure that medications are stored out of the reach of children.
Other common injuries include cuts and lacerations. As you slice, dice and fill the veggie tray or prepare to slice off a piece of roasted turkey breast, it is always important to be aware of fingers, yours and even those who are reaching for that first tasty bite.
Be sure to cook foods to the proper temperature. A dish that is not cooked properly can make your guests sick, very sick. The American Dietetic Association states, “Once a food is finished cooking, it has up to two hours before it must be refrigerated or frozen.” According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 76 million cases of food poisoning occur annually in the US.
This time of year, people are at risk for the flu, a higher level of alcohol consumption as well as abandoning dietary restrictions. Be sure and have everyone keep their hands clean and, if possible, avoid sick family members. Alcohol is sometimes a contributing or triggering factor in domestic disputes and is the cause of a number of traffic accidents. Those with a medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure may react to an overindulgence in high-caloric, high sodium snacks.
While most of us recognize the need to maintain emotional, physical and mental health, it is often far more difficult to preserve them during the holiday season. Remember to carve out some time for yourself. Fifteen minutes spent alone can refresh, restore and calm the mind. However, despite the best efforts to prevent stress and depression, you or a loved one may experience persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability or hopelessness. Those feelings may be accompanied by physical complaints, sleep difficulties or an inability to cope with daily chores. If symptoms of depression last for more than a few days or if substance abuse is a primary coping strategy, contact your primary care provider or mental health professional.
If you or a loved one needs medical attention, Portneuf Primary Care’s knowledgeable staff is able to quickly access health conditions and establish an effective treatment plan. To reach my office call 208-239-3815. From all of us at Portneuf Primary Care, we wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season.
To find another type of physician, please call Portneuf Medical Center’s Physician Referral Line at 1-877-721-6673.Dr. Yolanda Rodriguez is board certified in family medicine. She graduated from Instituto Superior DeVilla Clara, Cuba and completed residency training at Idaho State University Family Medicine. Dr. Rodriguez has been practicing medicine in Pocatello for a number of years. Portneuf Medical Center is pleased to have at Portneuf Primary Care. She and her partners at Portneuf Primary Care are currently taking new patients.