It is December, and that time of the year again when people gather together for the Christmas festivities. While Christmas brings loads of joy and celebration for all, there is a “risky” side of these festivities that few people think about–the health risks many face during Christmas. To spread awareness about these risks, we have compiled a list of the top 10 health risks many look at during Christmas.
While it is true that Christmas is the season of get-togethers, parties, and dinners, many people need to pay heed to the health risks of this festive season. Below is a list of these health risks that are part and parcel of the Christmas season.
Health Risks of Christmas
1. Food Poisoning
This is the most common but overlooked risk of the Christmas season. As it is time for get-togethers and family gatherings, it is no surprise that there is plenty of food to eat. However, not all of this food may be hygienic, as some may be from delis and restaurants. Food poisoning can occur due to food that sits out for too long without being refrigerated. According to health experts and CDC, bacteria can thrive and grow rapidly between temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Other than that, raw food poses a danger to the one who eats it. To avoid this food from poisoning others, take care to freeze or refrigerate any perishable food within two hours of serving.
2. Decorating Injuries
Christmas is incomplete without trees, lights, and decorations. A broken light can cut the skin, causing injuries. Christmas preparations involve tasks that could lead to injuries. According to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), cuts were the most common injuries in 2016, accounting for 18% of doctor and emergency room visits!
3. Electric Shocks
While it is true that Christmas lights are decorative and fun, they could shock you if not used properly. People have reported receiving electric shocks when putting Christmas lights on the tree or taking them down. This may be due to short circuits, a cut in the wire, or any loose wire end that could expose the inner wire accidentally touched; this exposed wire can cause electric shocks.
4. Colds and Contagious Diseases
Christmas is when you spend with relatives and friends you have not been around often. All that hugging and shaking hands could lead to contagious diseases among people. Colds and flu are common problems caused by close contact with people that could spread quickly from one person to another. To avoid such contagious diseases, it is essential to wash hands regularly or get a flu vaccine.
5. Deep Cuts
Suppose you are setting up lights and decorations on top of your Christmas tree, and suddenly, you slip and cut your hand on an ornament. Such injuries and deep cuts are prevalent, especially around the holiday season. Sometimes, such amounts can also lead to bleeding and scratches on the skin that may require bandaging. To avoid such kinds of deep cuts, one should use plastic decorations instead of crystal or glass ones.
When family and friends get together, food is the first thing that brings them together. As Christmas is a festival of get-togethers, all kinds of food are present in gatherings. Some people do not pay heed to “what” and “how much” they should eat, causing over-eating.
For many people, Christmas is incomplete without a tall glass of wine. Over-drinking wine and not keeping a check on the number of drinks you consume may lead to intoxication and extreme hangovers. Although you cannot fully avoid intoxication, you can try to minimize the number of glasses you consume and closely check your alcohol consumption.
8. House Fires
According to reports, people are 50% more likely to die from house fires on Christmas than any other year. Candles cause more than 1,000 house fires as well as deaths every year. The fairy lights, decorations, and even Christmas cards can be a fire hazard as they can catch fire quickly. Most of these fires can start in the kitchen, so it is crucial to watch during Christmas gatherings.
9. Accidental falls
With snowfalls come slippery roads and driveways, which are a common sight during Christmas. These slippery roads could lead to accidents and falls, which can even be fatal. To tackle this problem, people must drive carefully, especially if the roads are wet or slippery.
10. Smoke inhalation and burns
If you have not noticed, many flammable items in your home could easily catch fire, such as Christmas trees, burning candles, and cooking food in your home; when celebrating or cooking, be careful not to leave any of these items unattended; if you plan to fry some delicacy for Christmas, take extra precautions, such as wearing protective clothing and not putting flammable items too close to the hot oil.
Christmas is a time of fun, festivities, and gatherings–an ideal time to let go of all worries. But these festivities can turn sour if certain precautions are not taken. Not surprisingly, there are some health risks associated with Christmas that are faced by many people but are often overlooked. By taking extra precautions and care during the Christmas holidays, one can easily avoid any health-related issue or problem.