For many, the holiday season is a busy time \u2014 filled with family, friends, and more than a few festive gatherings.\nIt\u2019s also a pretty inopportune time for an unexpected injury or illness.\nFortunately, the experts at UPMC are available to get your season back on track. Our extensive network of services and providers are always close by and ready to treat any unforeseen ailments that strike during the holidays.\nFor more, visit UPMC.com\/Holidays\nHow to Cope with Holiday Illness and Injuries\n\nFirst, consult our list of outpatient services, including UPMC emergency departments and walk-in clinics in western Pennsylvania to find out where you can receive immediate medical care.\u00a0Then, combat seasonal health hazards before they occur with these tips from our experts.\nPractice Food Safety\nIf the holidays mean you\u2019re spending extra time in the kitchen, be sure you\u2019re following safe food prep guidelines to prevent food-related illness.\n\n\n\nKeep your hands and kitchen surfaces washed and clean.\nKeep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods.\nCook foods to the proper temperature.\nPut any leftovers in the fridge as soon as the meal is over (do not leave perishables out for more than two hours).\n\n\n\nYou\u2019re prepared for the holidays with a full list of UPMC emergency departments, urgent care centers, and more.\u00a0\nPrevent Seasonal Sniffles\nThe common cold and seasonal flu are more likely to occur during or close to the winter months. Fortunately, a few simple steps can prevent the spread of illness.\n\nIf someone is coughing or wiping his or her nose, avoid hugs, kisses, and close contact.\nCover your own coughs and sneezes.\nFrequently wash your hands with soap and water.\nStay home from work or social outings when you\u2019re sick.\nGet a seasonal flu shot to prevent illness.\n\nAvoid Common Kitchen Injuries\nThe holidays mean more time in the kitchen and more chances of getting cut from a knife or burned from the stove or oven.\n\nStay focused on what you are doing in the kitchen.\nSlice away from your hand and keep your fingers clear of the knife\u2019s blade.\nStay nearby when food is cooking.\nDon\u2019t wear loose clothing while cooking, and keep dish towels, food packaging and other items away from stovetops and heated surfaces.\n\nSafely Deck the Halls\nPrepping your house for the holidays can come with its own health hazards. The\u00a0Consumer Product Safety Commission\u00a0advises extra caution when decorating for the season.\n\nIf inhaled, artificial snow sprays can irritate lungs.\nAvoid Christmas tree decorations that are sharp and breakable.\nDon\u2019t burn wrapping paper in a fireplace or open flame. These materials can ignite suddenly and burn intensely.\nNever use electric lights on a metallic Christmas tree.