Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve — there’s no shortage of reasons why families gather together at the end of the year. And you’re looking forward to your own holiday celebrations, so you want everything to go as smoothly as possible.
Unfortunately, holidays can also be rife with accidents and illnesses you want to do your best to avoid.
To help, our team here at Michael Bazel, M.D., which runs three urgent care centers in the greater Los Angeles area, pulled together five great tips that will go a long way toward keeping you and yours safe during the holidays.
1. Protect yourself (and others) against viral infections
It should come as no surprise that viral infections like the flu and COVID-19 flare during and after the holidays. Since exposure is much greater during the holidays when you gather with friends and family, it’s important to take steps to protect yourselves.
To start, we recommend that you get up to date on your vaccines before the holidays. During get-togethers, make sure you and your family members wash your hands frequently. If someone in your family develops symptoms, keep everyone at home to avoid spreading the virus to others.
2. Avoid at-home injuries
While viral infections certainly fuel a fair number of urgent care visits after the holidays, decorating and cooking are responsible for a large number of in-holiday visits. All too often, people are caught up in getting everything ready, and they’re hurried and distracted.
To avoid these holiday accidents, slow down and pay attention to what you’re doing. Even if you’re running behind, take a beat to make sure you’re working safely. While you may be a little behind now, imagine what happens if you need to interrupt the holidays for a trip to one of our urgent care centers.
3. Watch those new toys
There’s nothing better for kids than getting a new toy for the holidays, but these same toys are responsible for a number of accidents. In 2020 in the United States, emergency rooms treated 150,000 toy-related injuries in kids — more than one in five of these visits were due to non-motorized scooters.
So, if your child gets a new toy they want to play with right away, make sure to supervise them closely. Also, please include any safety gear as part of the present.
4. Manage food allergies
Holidays can be minefields for people with food allergies, and there are 20 million such people in the US. If you’re hosting, be sure to let guests know what’s in each dish. If you have a family member with food allergies and you’re going to someone else’s house, be sure to investigate what’s being served.
With a little extra care, you can keep the focus on fun during the holidays. If a health issue or accident does arise, our urgent care team is here to help.
For holiday mishaps, visit our office location that’s closest to you — Panorama City, Bell, or Valley Village, California. You can also call to schedule an appointment or request one online anytime.