Keep healthy over Christmas

To keep you and your family healthy this Christmas the HSE west has some safety tips:

Personal safety:

Make sure you call into your elderly relatives and neighbours to ensure they are safe, warm, and have the necessary supplies. Ensure that there is enough food and that there is adequate heating.

Wrap up well when going outside in cold weather, wear a hat and gloves to give protection against the cold. Wear low heel, lace up shoes with a good grip if the weather is icy.

Make sure that if you or a relative are on prescription drugs you have enough to cover you for the festive period.

Keep all plastic packaging out of the reach of children.

Do not drink and drive, nominate a designated driver or take a taxi.

It takes the body over one hour to process an alcoholic drink. Make sure to drink lots of water or alternate alcoholic drinks with a soft drink. Take care of your personal safety when drinking and practice safe sex if you are sexually active.

Household safety:

Don't forget to switch off the Christmas lights before you go to bed, place a fireguard in front of an open fire and leave it there overnight.

Candles add to the festive mood, but they can also be extremely dangerous. Do not leave them near flammable material, within a child's reach, or in a position where they could be knocked over. Just like the Christmas lights, do not forget to make sure they are out before you go to bed.

Make sure all of your smoke alarms are in working order; do not remove batteries for toys.

Food safety:

In the kitchen, cook the turkey thoroughly, make sure that the juices of the turkey run clear or use a food thermometer to ensure you reach the correct temperature.

Keep raw meats separate from cooked foods; always store cooked/chilled foods on higher shelves in your fridge. Keep leftovers refrigerated for re-use, if you are re-heating make sure the food is piping hot. Remember cold foods should be served cold and hot foods kept hot.

Always wash your hands before handling food. Wash your hands after handling raw meat, poultry or fish; using the toilet; gardening or handling rubbish; handling a pet or any other animal.

For further information on staying healthy over Christmas, log onto www.hse.ie

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