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DOH-Collier Wishes You a Safe and Healthy Holiday Season

By Arielle Myers

December 07, 2018

Florida Department of Health in Collier County (DOH-Collier) wants to remind residents and visitors to remain safe and healthy this holiday season by following these tips:

  • Food Safety – There are four steps to food safety – clean, separate, cook, and chill. Clean your hands before and after handling food. Wash cutting boards, cooking utensils, dishes, and counter tops after preparing food items. Use a separate cutting board for raw meat and cooked food to avoid cross-contamination. A food thermometer can ensure food is cooked to a safe temperature that kills bacteria. A safe temperature for beef, pork, lamb is at least 145° F and at least 165° F for poultry. Baking holiday cookies is a popular holiday tradition, but consuming raw dough or batter can increase your risk of food poisoning. Therefore, you should never taste raw dough or batter of any kind. For more food safety tips, please visit foodsafety.gov.
  • Stay Flu Free – There are still weeks of flu activity to come and it is not too late to get your flu shot. The flu vaccine is safe and recommended for everyone six months and older. If you catch the flu, exclude yourself from work and keep children home from school or daycare to help prevent spreading illness to others.
  • Falls and Injury Prevention - The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that in 2016, there were 14,700 holiday decorating related ER-treated injuries with an average of 240 per day during the holiday season of November and December. Falls related injuries are most prevalent (41%) followed by lacerations (10%) and back strains (5%). To prevent falls and injuries, DOH-Collier recommends working as a team when stringing lights and decorations above normal reach. If you are using a ladder, have someone support the base to prevent any mishaps.
  • Stay Warm Safely - Heat your home safely. If you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, be extremely careful. Never leave flames and fires unattended and keep them away from children and pets. Do not use generators, grills, or other gas or charcoal burning devices inside your home or garage as it increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is odorless and cannot be seen, so installing a carbon monoxide detector is a sure way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Watch Children – If you are having small guests for the holidays, double check your home for items that should not be within their reach including choking hazards, household items, electronics, toys, and drinks. Also keep in mind any gifts you give to children are age appropriate and are not in a current recall. You can stay up to date with consumer recalls at cpsc.gov/recalls.
  • Eat Healthy, Stay Active – It can be difficult during the holiday season to eat healthy, but with balance and moderation, you can still enjoy your favorite holiday foods without compromising your health. Practice portion control with foods high in calories, sugar and salt and try emphasizing vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your diet. Physical activity has shown to have both short-term and long-term health benefits including improved cognition and reduced risk in chronic disease.