Newsroom > DHHS News Release

December 22, 2009

Marla Augustine, Communication and Legislative Services, 402-471-4047,

Twelve Tips to a Healthy Holiday Season

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Lincoln - Many of us get together with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and the new year. It’s a time to reflect and give thanks. It’s also a time to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, encourages Nebraskans to stay safe and healthy this holiday season by following these 12 holiday health tips:

    1. “Get vaccinated. Vaccinations help prevent disease and save lives. Don’t forget to get your H1N1 flu vaccine.”

    2. “Wash your hands often. Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs.”

    3. “Stay warm. Exposure to cold temperatures can cause serious or life-threatening health problems, especially for babies and older adults.”

    4. “Manage stress. The holidays don’t need to take a toll on your health. Keep an eye out for over-spending and over-commitment.”

    5. “Don’t drink and drive. If you choose to drink while attending parties, designate a driver who will get you home to your family safely.”

    6. “Buckle up. Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a car and always put your child in a safety seat.”

    7. “Be smoke-free. Live a healthier life and lower your risk for disease by not smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke.”

    8. “Get a check up. Exams and screenings help find problems early when they may be easier to treat.”

    9. “Watch the kids. Keep an eye on the kiddos when they’re eating and playing. Children are at high risk for injuries that can lead to tragedies.”

    10. “Prevent injuries. Injuries from falls and fires often happen around the holidays. Practice fire safety and use ladders safely.”

    11. “Handle and prepare food safely. Wash hands often, keep raw meat separate, cook foods to the proper temperature and put those leftovers in the fridge right away.”

    12. “Eat healthy. We tend to eat more during the holiday season. Try and limit your portion sizes and substitute fresh fruit for some of those sweets.”