How to have a healthy holiday

TIPS for a healthy Christmas from the North Coast Area Health Service:

Be a role model

Everyone, especially children, is influenced by the behaviour of others, both good and bad. This Christmas holiday, act safely, especially around swimming pools, beaches and rivers, drive carefully and in accordance with road conditions, and don't take unnecessary risks, whether at home or in public.

Shop early for presents and non-perishable food

Avoiding the rush times at shopping centres will help you keep your cool and allow more enjoyment of the lead-up to the big days. You'll need all your energy later!

Keep the kids safe

Sadly a number of young Australians drown each year, while other children are killed or injured when drivers fail to see them in the rear vision mirrors of their vehicles. Kids need special attention and only adults can provide it.

Keep food cold

Nothing can ruin the festive season like a visit to the emergency department or even a stay in hospital because of food poisoning. Take the advice of experts, and if you're in doubt, throw it out. Food goes 'off' quickly in the hot weather and it's not worth taking the risk.

Spread drinks and don't drive

Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water, and be sure to snack regularly or eat proper meals as you go. Nuts or chips might go well with your drinks, but driving and drinking definitely don't mix. Call a taxi or organise a designated driver. People under stress tend to 'self-medicate' with alcohol and other drugs. But these substances can't solve problems or alleviate stress in the long term.

Be active together

Take a break from the couch and arrange a fun game of cricket, Frisbee, badminton, pool hockey or another vigorous activity with your family or guests. Your body will welcome the break from the eating and drinking and you'll feel much better.

Enjoy fruit and vegies

Summer offers a huge variety of delicious fresh produce, such as mangoes, watermelon and salads.

Save your skin

The summer sun burns quickly, but it's easy to get caught when you're outside having fun. Be sure that you and the children wear hats, apply sunscreen and try to stay in the shade from midday until 4pm.

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