Top Holiday Health Risks to Prepare for This Season

The togetherness and festivity of the winter holidays often provide a false sense of security—unfortunately, injuries and illness are particularly prevalent during this time of year. By anticipating and taking steps to prevent the following misfortunes, you can help your family enjoy the holidays worry-free:  

young female having a cold

Burns and Scalds

With the extra cooking and special decorating that comes with the holiday season, it is especially important to be cautious in preventing burns . Keep small children away from the stove and oven, and cook using the back burners so pots and pans cannot accidentally fall on them. When decorating, make sure that strings of lights have no loose or broken parts, and do not overload outlets. Remember that candles should be placed on stable furniture a safe distance away from cloth and vegetation, and must never be left unattended.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Ladder injuries related to holiday decorating are a major concern, especially for the elderly, who may have impaired balance. Ladders should only be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and should be placed on a firm and dry area. To prevent other causes of falls, keep gifts and strings of lights clear of walkways, and clean up wrapping materials immediately after use.


In the U.S., the winter months signal flu season , which can interfere with holiday festivities. In addition to suffering the discomfort of having the flu, certain people have a higher risk of developing severe complications—these include the elderly, small children, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems. You can reduce your chances of catching and spreading the flu by obtaining a flu vaccine as early in the season as possible.

Even with the proper precautions, accidents and illnesses sometimes occur—which is why West Hills Hospital & Medical Center has the exceptional Grossman Burn Center as well as a cutting-edge emergency room . Find out more about staying safe this holiday season by calling (818) 676-4000.

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