For many, the holiday season is a busy time — filled with family, friends, and more than a few festive gatherings.
It’s also a pretty inopportune time for an unexpected injury or illness.
Fortunately, 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.
How to Cope with Holiday Illness and Injuries
First, 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. Then, combat seasonal health hazards before they occur with these tips from our experts.
Practice Food Safety
If the holidays mean you’re spending extra time in the kitchen, be sure you’re following safe food prep guidelines to prevent food-related illness.
- Keep your hands and kitchen surfaces washed and clean.
- Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods.
- Cook foods to the proper temperature.
- Put any leftovers in the fridge as soon as the meal is over (do not leave perishables out for more than two hours).
You’re prepared for the holidays with a full list of UPMC emergency departments, urgent care centers, and more.
Prevent Seasonal Sniffles
- If someone is coughing or wiping his or her nose, avoid hugs, kisses, and close contact.
- Cover your own coughs and sneezes.
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water.
- Stay home from work or social outings when you’re sick.
- Get a seasonal flu shot to prevent illness.
Avoid Common Kitchen Injuries
The holidays mean more time in the kitchen and more chances of getting cut from a knife or burned from the stove or oven.
- Stay focused on what you are doing in the kitchen.
- Slice away from your hand and keep your fingers clear of the knife’s blade.
- Stay nearby when food is cooking.
- Don’t wear loose clothing while cooking, and keep dish towels, food packaging and other items away from stovetops and heated surfaces.
Safely Deck the Halls
Prepping your house for the holidays can come with its own health hazards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission advises extra caution when decorating for the season.
- If inhaled, artificial snow sprays can irritate lungs.
- Avoid Christmas tree decorations that are sharp and breakable.
- Don’t burn wrapping paper in a fireplace or open flame. These materials can ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
- Never use electric lights on a metallic Christmas tree.
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A $21 billion health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates more than 90,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a 3.8 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC contributed $1.4 billion in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution, and paid more than $500 million in federal, state, and local taxes. Working in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC shares its clinical, managerial, and technological skills worldwide through its innovation and commercialization arm, UPMC Enterprises, and through UPMC International. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside on its annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For more information, go to UPMC.com.