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December 2009

Making a List, Checking it Twice... Holiday Safety Tips

December 23, 2009 | marietta forster-haberer | Comments (2)

With the holiday season fast approaching, most of us are busy preparing for the holidays. In the midst of all that hustle and bustle, it's easy to forget to pay attention to common safety precautions. Particular care must be taken in households with young children. Children get overly excited while their parents and caregivers may be busy and distracted during the festivities. By taking some simple precautions, you can greatly reduce the risk of accidents. Here is a list of holiday safety tips to keep in mind:

Decorations & Ornaments MPj04402810000[1]

  • keep tree secured in a sturdy tree stand and away from high traffic areas
  • if you use a real tree, choose a fresh one and water daily
  • avoid trimmings with sharp, breakable and removable parts
  • use only light strings and bulbs that are certified by a recognized organization
  • beware of poisonous holiday plants like mistletoe, holly and poinsettia
  • do not leave burning candles unattended and keep matches & lighters out of children's reach
  • do not overload electrical outlets and make sure smoke detectors are in good working order

Toy Safety

  • read and follow the age label on toys. Small toys and removable parts can cause chocking in children under three
  • toys with long & stretchy cords present strangulation hazard for children
  • sharp edges and points can cut a child
  • toy packaging can suffocate or choke a child
  • ride-on toys can tip; secure staircases to avoid dangerous falls
  • latex balloons and leaded paint chips can be inhaled by young children

Eating and Drinking MPj04365200000[1]

  • beware of overeating (see previous blog)
  • follow basic food safety precautions to avoid food poisoning
  • do everything in moderation -- so drink responsibly!
  • take a taxi or public transit or have a designated driver if you had too much to drink
  • protect your guests and yourself by being a responsible host

Holiday Stress

  • be aware of common holiday stress triggers so you can disarm them before they spoil the holidays
  • when stressed, validate your feelings and reach out; it's ok to ask for help!
  • be realistic -- holidays don't have to be perfect
  • plan ahead, learn to say no and stick to a budget
  • don't abandon healthy habits and make some time for yourself

Last but not least, while scurrying around, don't forget those less fortunate and give generously!


December 2, 2009 | carolyn | Comments (1)


 'Tis the season to overeat!  Getting together with family and friends doesn't have to mean eating too much or all the wrong foods. 

Some tips to help you stop overeating include:

  • Eat slowly! Take the time to enjoy the meal and savor the taste. 
  • Eat small amounts frequently.  This will help to maintain a normal blood glucose level.
  • Plan your portions.  Use smaller plates.
  • Don't go to a holiday party hungry.  Eat a light snack before.
  • Keep healthy snacks easily available.  For instance, cut up veggies and put them in a prominent place in the fridge.
  • Pamper yourself with a manicure or pedicure instead of comfort food.
  • Focus on good times with family and friends instead of food.

Check out the Library's new books about overeating.  To see which branch has a copy of the book and to place a hold, click on the cover.

The End of Overeating
It's Not About Food
Eating the Moment

Here are some good websites that can provide support for overeating.

Overeaters Anonymous Weight-Loss Help: Gain Control of Emotional Eating

Dietitians of Canada

Toronto Public Library helps find reliable, understandable health information for you and your family.