PRimage Press Release
The festive season of parties, family fun and over-indulgence is here again… but for many this can also mean coping with the traditional after effects, such as hangovers and heartburn. And why is it that someone in the family always seems to come down with a cold, flu or a bad back at Christmas?
Here, specialist healthcare communications agency, PRimage, offer some common-sense advice on how, amongst the fun and festivities, we should make time to look after ourselves.
PRimage managing director, Judy Viitanen, comments: “The good news is that by being prepared – and following some simple self-help tips – we can all make sure we don’t let avoidable health problems put a dampener on our family’s festive fun. That way my family – and yours – can enjoy a healthy and happy yuletide”.
Christmas Health Tips from PRimage
Stress and accidents:
We all know that the lead up to the festive period can be frenetic – ask any busy mum!
Not only are people out of their usual routines – but they are also rushing around, often stressed and tired. At times like this, it takes only one shopping bag too many, some playful games with the kids, or a wobble on a high heel while dancing at a party to trigger a muscle spasm.
Christmas shopping is possibly the most physically demanding task of the season, rushing through the crowds with heavy bags of presents and christmas fare! So try to think ahead and ensure you remain hydrated, wear flat shoes rather than heels to protect your back and knees and if possible avoid any big, heavy shops first thing – since most injuries take place during the first two hours of your day when the body isn’t properly loosened up.
Tempting as it may be to sprawl presents and paper on the floor for wrapping, avoid risking back strain and use a table at waist height instead. Even a small christmas tree can be heavy, so take care when lugging it home and be aware of your back if reaching up, unsupported, to hang decorations.
Many people travel long distances to spend the holidays with loved ones, so ensure you consider your comfort and safety if confined to a car, plane or train seat. Position yourself so your back is straight and supported, remain hydrated and take regular breaks from your seat to have a walk, which will loosen up your muscles and get blood circulating.
Christmas is for young children and family fun. However, if you are a grandparent, to avoid accidents or muscle strains please be careful when joining in their fun – your limbs are probably not as flexible as theirs when it comes to piggybacks and rough and tumble!
Christmas pudding, brandy butter, mince pies, chocolate liqueurs … there are many rich foods and alcohol that can trigger a bout of indigestion or heartburn at this time of year – and we tend to over-indulge in all of them!
Here’s how you still enjoy the festive fare, but take practical steps to prevent or alleviate the misery of heartburn, nausea, wind or abdominal pains: avoid eating within an hour of going to bed; drink a glass of skimmed milk at bedtime; try sleeping propped up with pillows; make sure you have a suitable indigestion remedy in the medicine cabinet, in case you or your family needs it over the holiday
We all know that too much alcohol results in that dreaded “morning after” feeling. However, when you’re faced with endless parties and family get togethers, it’s not always easy to have an ‘alcohol-free’ Christmas and New Year. So the best advice is to drink sensibly and not to overdo it.
This festive season, do follow these basic tips to help you keep out of trouble:
Don’t drink on an empty stomach – have a proper meal first; try to drink less and have a soft drink first, then alternate soft drinks with alcohol; before going to bed, drink plenty of water: dehydration is the main cause for a hangover’s worst effects. If you do wake up suffering, keep drinking plenty of fluids and try eating something to increase your blood sugar level. A paracetamol-based painkiller, or hangover remedy, can be taken to help reduce the headache and other symptoms – but be careful not to exceed recommended dosages by taking a combination of medicines. Check with your local pharmacist.
Extra entertaining over the Christmas holiday means we should be careful to avoid the risks of food poisoning.
Cleanliness is the key – so be meticulous about hygiene in your kitchen, and always use common sense in the way you prepare and cook food
Store all uncooked food in the refrigerator separate from cooked food; raw meat should be stored separately in the ‘fridge and should be well covered to ensure that no blood spills on to other foods; ensure that the ‘fridge is cold enough – it should not be below 5oC or 41oF and the freezer should not be warmer than –18oC; if you are planning to reuse any leftover turkey or other Christmas food. Remember that cooked food should never be reheated more than once – and then only if it is piping hot all the way through.
If you do develop a bout of sickness, have nothing to eat until the vomiting has stopped; drink water, little and often, even if it does not stay down for long, as this will stop you getting dehydrated.
Do bear in mind that if you or a family member suffer from a long-standing medical condition that requires regular prescription medication, it’s a wise precaution to ensure you have sufficient supplies of any medicine over the Christmas and New Year period. And if you or your family are ill over the Christmas and New Year Bank holidays and need an urgent prescription dispensed, don’t panic – in most parts of the country, pharmacists operate a rota system to ensure that patients can get medicines outside pharmacy opening hours. Details of your local pharmacy Christmas and New Year rota will be displayed on local pharmacy windows or doors and printed in local newspapers.Make sure, too, that you have a selection of commonly needed over the counter medicines in your family medicine cabinet to help you cope with everyday family illness or any mishaps over the holiday.
Coughs, colds and other winter ills often strike at unsociable times – particularly Christmas and Bank Holidays – so it will be reassuring to know that you are well prepared, especially if you have a young family or elderly relatives to care for.
Some useful items you might want to include in your medicine cabinet over the holiday period include: paracetamol or aspirin tablets (and junior paracetamol liquid for babies and young children); plasters and bandages; liquid antiseptic and ointment; adult and children’s cough linctus and sore throat lozenges; indigestion remedy and laxative
Don’t mix medicines and alcohol – or drink and drive!
Finally, do remember that before taking any medicines this Christmas or New Year, it is a good idea to check with your doctor or pharmacist if it is likely to react with alcohol, or impair your driving ability. And if there is any doubt, hand over the car keys. DDD – drugs, drink and driving – can be a deadly combination!
PRimage have experience in all areas of PR and consumer healthcare messaging.