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Health Hazards of the Holiday Season

Anuja Marathe Kanhere Mar 4, 2020
The holiday season and new year celebrations are just round the corner. However, the excitement and stress of preparation and celebration can lead to certain unwanted health problems. Here is a compilation of common holiday hazards to avoid by taking certain precautions.
At last, it's time for the long-awaited holiday season merriment. There are a number of errands to do before the holidays begin, such as cleaning, shopping, decorating the home, and finishing work assignments.
In the whole process, you are likely to put a lot of pressure on your health and fitness and ignore your personal safety. Here are some commonly occurring holiday health problems and issues that can mar your festive spirit.

Hidden Holiday Health Issues

Work Assignments and Examinations: Stress

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and new year's eve's parties are surely exciting. However, there is usually a lot of work to be finished in your office before the holidays start.
As far as children are concerned, examinations are generally scheduled to take place right before the vacations begin. The haste to finish all the work early and the high anxiety levels to do well in the examinations can take a physical and mental toll on adults and children alike.
All you have to do is take one thing at a time. Avoid exerting yourself by trying to finish work and preparing for the festivities simultaneously.

Cleaning and Decorating: Wounds, Fractures, etc

It is time to clean your homes thoroughly at the onset of the holidays. The overall excitement of the festivities can make you negligent about the safety precautions while decorating the house. In case, you wish to climb and hang the decorations or clean the attic, make sure to use ladders and equipment that is safe for use.
As a precaution, scrutinize all the fittings and bolts of the equipment. This will help you to avoid physical injury in the form of cuts, wounds and fractures.

Shopping: Stress

Holiday shopping and gifts are just unavoidable. It starts with plans for buying gifts for family and friends, browsing through the Internet for the best shopping deals, and visiting the malls during annual Christmas sales.
These shopping activities may sound exciting but they are likely to cause severe stress and body ache. A traditional solution for this problem is to take a relaxing bath with Epsom salts after you return home from your long shopping spree.
Doctors suggest consumption of a lot of water, juices, and green tea to cut the stress level. Carefully draw up a shopping list well in advance so that you do not miss out on any item from your shopping list.

Christmas Tree: Allergy and Skin Irritation

For some of you, Christmas can never be perfect without a bedecked Christmas tree in the living room.
Yes, Christmas trees are surely a sign of festivities, but these trees are likely to trigger a lot of breathing and asthmatic problems if they stay inside your home for long.
A freshly cut Christmas tree is likely to harbor considerable dust and mold on its needles approximately a week after it is erected. The needles are also likely to cause breathing problems and skin irritation to some people. The same applies to mistletoe too.
 We, therefore suggest that you purchase the tree a day or two before Christmas and dispose it off immediately after the festival time. Alternately, buy an artificial Christmas tree which can be erected and decorated to look like a real life tree.
There are options to buy artificial mistletoe too. Make sure to use protective gloves each time you handle the Christmas tree. Try to cover your nose whenever you are shifting the tree. Additionally, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly each time you touch the tree.

Holiday Decorations: Allergy and Sore Throat

Do we really bother to carefully pack away the colorful tree decoration after each Christmas? Most of us don't! And all through the rest of the year, these decorations go on collecting dust and mites in some forgotten corner of the attic or the garage.
Once the holidays approach, we start looking for the decorative hangings and unknowingly get exposed to the dust. The result? Dust allergy, running nose, sore throat, severe headache and watery eyes right in the middle of the celebrations!
✔ This problem can be controlled by playing safe and storing the decorations in a sealed bag in a clean cabinet. Make sure to cover your nose and mouth with a scarf when you open the bag to retrieve them.
If they are washable, then wash them immediately in a solution of soap and warm water. If the decorations are delicate, then place them in the freezer for ten minutes to kill all the dust mites. Carefully clean away all possible dust from the decorations for your own safety.

Lights and Crackers: Fire and Burns

Fairy lights are usually suspended from the external roof of the house and are also hung on Christmas trees. Negligent handling of these electrical fittings can be a reason for house-fires and electric shocks.
Similarly, firecrackers make for a lot of fun and entertainment while you celebrate and welcome the new year. However, unsupervised usage of crackers might cause burns and physical injuries to people watching the cracker shows.
It is better to play safe and handle the electrical fittings and lights only if you have sufficient knowledge about them. If not, it is best to opt for help from an electrician. As far as crackers are concerned, follow utmost care when lighting them. Follow all possible safety precautions and keep your children at a safe distance when the crackers are lit.

Candles: Headache and Nausea

Aromatic candles available in the market are bound to add an amazing long-lasting scent in your house. However, these aromas are created on account of the toxic chemicals and poisonous substances added to the wax candles.
Though pleasant initially, aroma candles can cause a lot of headache and nausea to people.

An ideal way to overcome this problem is to use non-aromatic candles throughout the festivities. Also, make use of some safe room fresheners, potpourri, and fragrant fresh flowers all over your home.

Feast Food and Wine: Heart Problems and Weight Gain

A typical foodie is likely to starve himself so as to build up an appetite for the specially prepared Thanksgiving feast and Christmas feast.
And on the day of the feast, this foodie is likely to binge 30% to 40% more food than his regular appetite. A typical feast comprises roasted turkey, beef, ham, roasted potatoes, cakes, puddings and wines.
All of these, excessively add to the calorie intake of a person leading to problems such as poor digestion, acidity, heart burn, weight gain, rise in cholesterol and heart problems.
The best bet is to eat in moderate proportions daily so as to control your appetite. Also, it makes sense to be calorie and cholesterol conscious and eat small proportions of food at least 4 times a day throughout the holiday season.

Sweets and Candies: Choking

Choking by consumption of Christmas sweets and candies is quite common among children who generally have a very narrow esophagus.
The excessive temptation of eating sweets is likely to cause choking and respiratory problems in children which may mar the festive spirit at your home.

It is best to monitor the quantity of sweets consumed by them all the time. Make sure to buy sweets and candies in smaller sizes that can be safely swallowed by your children.

Late Night Partying: Vehicle Accidents

Yes, this is the worst health hazard of the holiday season. Excessive drinking and late night partying is a likely cause of disastrous and fatal vehicular accidents.
There is a notable rise in consumption of party drugs during this time which can cause drug addiction and severe damage to the body. There is also a steep rise in opting for unprotected sexual encounters during the parties and celebrations which are a likely cause of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Partying is definitely fun. However, one needs to exercise caution before following a path which can be fatal for you and your family. Trust your instincts and opt for utmost safety during the parties.
The holiday season calls for family reunions and cherishing the wonderful life that we have. It is best to carefully carry out all your festive plans and activities to keep the happiness and cheerfulness alive. So do take care of yourself and your family!