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Take care during the holiday season

How to avoid unwanted trips to Emergency

How to avoid unwanted trips to Emergency
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Winnipeg Health Region

An important part of enjoying your holiday festivities this season is remembering to take care of yourself and others in order to avoid unwanted trips to the Emergency Department, says Lori Lamont, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for the Winnipeg Health Region.

"The holidays are for spending time with friends and family but it can be difficult to enjoy that time when we're feeling run-down or stressed with holiday obligations,"  Lamont reminded Winnipeggers today.

"We wish Winnipeg families and individuals good health over the holiday season - remember to keep your health top of mind to avoid a visit to one of our Emergency Departments."

Taking care of your health is one of the most important gifts you can offer yourself and those you care about. The Winnipeg Health Region suggests some simple holiday health preparations and habits:

  • Get prescriptions filled in advance, as many pharmacies will have shortened hours and closures;
  • Check with your family physician to confirm holiday office hours;
  • Have phone numbers of family, friends, and neighbours who are available over the holidays to help if a health need arises;
  • Be kind to yourself and others you care about;
  • Give yourself a gift - get enough rest;
  • Wash your hands frequently - especially during larger group and family events where germs can be spread easily;
  • Keep your kitchen clean and ensure food is properly cooked and refrigerated to avoid food-borne illnesses;
  • Use moderation in all holiday activities, try not to overindulge when eating and drinking and always remember a designated driver;
  • Be active within your limits - don't go from a couch potato to two hours of road hockey with the neighborhood kids; and
  • Also try to remember those that might be alone and isolated. The holidays can be a very difficult time for them. Pick up the phone; drop by for a short visit.

Emergency Departments often see increased numbers of individuals for cold and flu-type symptoms during the month of December. Health Links - Info Santé generally sees an 11 percent rise in the number of calls it gets on a variety of health issues between Christmas and New Years from those received in the weeks leading up to the holiday season.

"Taking preventative steps to avoid illness and injuries should be on everyone's holiday checklist this year," said Lamont.

If needed, there are several ways to get health-related supports and services over the holidays. Check out My Right Care at www.myrightcare.ca.

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