I'm sure I'm not alone in this sentiment, but somehow the holiday's managed to sneak up on us! And as I type this I stare at the twinkling white lights of our tree with no star on top and my hubby's crutches laying nearby. This year we're breaking tradition and I'm helping lift up our youngest son to crown our tree with it's golden star, because somehow the hubby ended up losing his balance on the subway staircase as he lunged to try and catch his train no thanks to a woman with lots of shopping bags. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays it's so important to remember to stay safe, calm and collected as we all do our last minute holiday shopping, house cleaning and everything else in between to welcome guests and the New Year! Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care has great tips to help keep families safe this season so that everyone can enjoy the festivities worry free!
It's hard not to get into the holiday spirit when you have young children in the house, so despite our exhaustion from the day to day grind there was no way to avoid getting our apartment ready for the holidays. With our supervision and after his daddy strung the lights around the tree, our six year old took matters into his own hands and happily placed every ornament on every available branch he could find.
More than 12,000 people are treated in the nation’s emergency rooms each year due to falls, cuts, electrical shocks and burns from faulty holiday decorations or accidents that occur while putting decorations in place. That's a crazy large number isn't it? And nobody wants to spend the holidays in the emergency room and if you need to we'd highly recommend visiting one of the 6 Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care facilities here in the city or one near you.
- Check decorative lights to make sure they are not broken and the wires are not bare or frayed. Turn off all decorative lights before going to bed or leaving the house
- Don’t use indoor extension cords outdoors and use grounded extension cords
- Keep fire extinguishers handy
- Use proper “elevation “ devices (ladder or stepstool- not a chair, bookcase, or standing on someone’s shoulders….)
- Keep Christmas trees away from fireplaces or other areas where high heat is present.
- When buying an artificial tree, be sure the label indicates it is “fire resistant.”
This November we welcomed home a new feisty puppy pitbull named Nutella as a birthday gift to our youngest. I swear we're crazy for adding to our already full house right before the holidays but luckily for us our older dog, Sonic the terrier is ultra chill all year round. Naturally like a baby, our puppy can't help but put anything and everything in her mouth which can be concerning with festive decor everywhere. There are 3 common holiday plants you should be cautious of: Poinsettia, Mistletoe and Holly.
- You would have to eat about 500 Poinsettia leaves to end up sick, it could cause nausea and vomiting for you and your pets. The sap is irritating but not harmful.
- All parts of the mistletoe are toxic, especially the berries that can cause nausea, vomiting and in severe cases may result in slow heart rate and possible seizure.
- Holly is the most dangerous holiday plant with the risk being that children may pick up any fallen berries and eat them. In rare instances there have been fatalities after eating 20 berries or more.
This year my sister is hosting an early Christmas dinner at her house with the entire family since it her son Baby Q Jae's first Christmas. Although she lives in the same borough as the rest of her guests, she's much closer to Manhattan since she lives in Astoria which is a bit of a trek for us with gifts, kids, a dinner dish and possibly a teething puppy in tow. May God grant us all patience as we travel to and from because we all know it can get kind of crazy this time of year.
- More than one thousand people last year were killed in car crashes involving a car or motorcycle driver with an illegal blood alcohol content level of .08 or higher
- Never drink alcohol and drive; if you do plan to drink alcohol, assign a designated driver
- Wear seatbelts at all times
- Place all children under age 12 in the back seat and secure all children in appropriate safety restraints for their ages and sizes
- Be aware of your surroundings, including changes in weather or traffic patterns
I hardly ever cook, I guess you can chalk it up to the perks of having a chef for a hubby and I'm especially cautious when it comes to cooking meat because of my fear of eventually under cooking it and poisoning someone accidentally. I spend more time in the kitchen overthinking how to prepare the dish without contaminating anything, that it just makes more sense to let my hubby do it effortlessly and quickly.
- Clean: Why? Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get on hands, utensils and countertops
- Separate: Why? Cross-contamination is how bacteria spreads. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods
- Cook: Why? Improper heating & preparation of food means bacteria can survive
Of course with the newest lil' monster it's a steep competition to see who will gift the best toys for the holidays and since my boys are getting older the requests for gadgets and gizmos have significantly increased so I was more than thrilled to hit the toy aisles after see all the must haves at press previews this year. Things to keep in mind when on the
- Toy injuries resulted in 185,000 ED visits in 2015
- Select toys to suit age, abilities, skills & the child’s interest
- For infants & toddlers, avoid toys with small parts (choking)
- Don’t buy electric toys with heating elements for children under 8
- Read the label and use the age guidelines for that toy; buy associated safety gear
- Discard plastic wrappings immediately (suffocation hazard)
- Call consumer product safety commission (CPSC) hotline 800-638-2772 to report dangerous toys and check the government recall list on the internet at www.Cpsc.Gov
Despite all the stress that's involved this time of year we're all pretty excited to get togther since 2016 was a pretty difficult year for us all: the passing of 3 family members that were all unexpected and relatively a few weeks apart, job loss, emergency surgeries and just the everyday juggles. For many of us once December hits it can all seem so overwhelming - with looming feelings of sadness, anger and despair and it's important to find ways to maintain our mental health as well because Seasonal Affective Disorder is real!
- Not enough sunlight plays a role in mood
- More common in women
- Occurs in winter months
- Feel sad, grumpy, moody, or anxious
- Lose interest in your usual activities
- Eat more and crave carbohydrates, such
as bread and pasta
- Gain weight
- Sleep more but still feel tired
- Have trouble concentrating You can manage your stress levels by remembering & doing these:
- Make time for yourself & don’t over commit
- Have a support system
- Define your goals
- Don’t overspend, make a budget
- Get enough sleep
- Express your feelings
- Get help if you need it
- Time for reflection and thinking about lost
loved ones wishing things were different
- Identify your stressors and change what you can
- Find safe ways to relieve stress
- Spend time with others
- Get some exercise
- Get more sunlight!
With less than two weeks until the New Year I hope you are all able to live in the moment, unwind and celebrate with those you love most as you avoid the Hazards of the Holidays.
How are you spending your last few days of 2016?