Taking care of yourself and family during holidays is a healthy start to the New Year

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Taking care of yourself and family during holidays is a healthy start to the New Year

An important part of enjoying the many festivities of the holiday is remembering to take care of yourself and others in order to avoid unwanted trips to the Emergency Department, WRHA Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Lori Lamont, today reminded Winnipeggers.

“We hope families and individuals prepare for good health along with their gifts and parties over the holiday season,” Lamont said. “Many people get run down, feel stress, or overindulge at this time of year – all of this can have a negative impact on health and end up with 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;
  • Get plenty of rest, being well rested will help keep you healthy;
  • 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,
  • Take care with weather conditions and caution on icy areas, don’t over-do physical activities such as snow shoveling.

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

“For everyone to have the best holiday they can, taking care to avoid unwanted illness or injury should be included in the plans,” said Lamont.

If needed, there are several ways to get health-related supports and services over the holidays:

Health Links РInfo Sant̩: Nurses are available by phone to provide advice regarding symptoms of influenza, food borne illness, frostbite and any other health-related questions you may have. Call 788-8200.

Urgent Care: For health concerns that require urgent care but are not a life-threatening emergency, visit Urgent Care at Misericordia Health Centre (99 Cornish Avenue). Urgent Care is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Minor Injury Clinic: For minor injuries that still require urgent care, such as broken bones, torn ligaments, sprains, cuts and bruises, visit the Pan Am Minor Injury Clinic (75 Poseidon Bay). Check their 2011 holiday hours at www.panamclinic.org.

Walk-In Clinics: Finding out the hours of your local walk-in clinic before the holidays start is a good idea. Don’t assume they’re not open – some are.

Mental Health Mobile Crisis Services: If in crisis, mental health professionals from the Mobile Crisis Service are available 24/7 by calling 940-1781.

Current Health News: Information about current health issues in Winnipeg is available on the main page of www.wrha.mb.ca.

Emergency Care: In the case of emergencies, call 911 for an ambulance or head to the nearest emergency department. If you believe it is a cardiac-related emergency call 911 immediately.

For more information contact:

Kathryn McBurney
Media Relations Specialist
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Tele: (204)926-7868
Cell: (204)782-28