Christmas is a wonderful, happy time full of family and friends; it’s easy to get carried away with planning presents, festivities and feasts! As the holidays approach it pays to also spend a little time preparing for the health and safety of ourselves and our family.

We’ve put together 9 pieces of advice to be mindful of this Christmas so you can have a happy, healthy and safe holiday break.

Slip, slop, slap!

Enjoy your time in the sun but remember to protect yourself and your family from those damaging UV rays. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: wide brim hats, sunglasses, rash-shirts and don’t forget sunscreen. Use a generous amount of sunscreen, about 35ml of sunscreen for one full adult body. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and re-apply again every two hours. Remember to reapply after swimming or excessive sweating. http://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/

Be mindful of stress

Whilst holidays are full of fun and family, they can also be a stressful time. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially, be mindful of your body and get plenty of sleep. https://themighty.com/2017/11/self-care-checklist-holidays/

Plan ahead

Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Being under the influence behind the wheel puts everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same. If you do choose to drink during the holidays plan ahead and make sure you have a way to get home after a night out. This includes nominating a designated driver, using public transport or taxis. http://www.whatsyourplanb.net.au/

Go smoke-free

We all know the hazards of tobacco use, but non-smokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke. Create a smoke-free environment during the holidays by avoiding designated smoking areas in public and not smoking within the house or around children and young people. More information on how to quit smoking here: https://makesmokinghistory.org.au/

Practice road safety

Holiday time means more traffic on the roads and more potential for accident. Practicing road safety dramatically improves your risk when driving. Ensure you fasten seatbelts, use proper child seats and restraints, manage fatigue and speed and limit mobile phone – all ways you can stay safe on the road these holidays. http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/

First aid basics

You never know when a situation will arise where you will find yourself in need of medical attention. If you are planning a camping trip, travelling in the car or going for a bush walk, it is always best to be prepared. Pack a First Aid Kit and familiarise yourself with basic first aid practices. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/search-results/first%20aid

Wash those hands

Prevent the spread of nasty germs by washing your hands often and well. Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Keep this top of mind when you’re cooking that delicious family feast for Chrissy!

Food safety

Nobody wants a bad case of the runs on Chrissy Day! Prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly. Learn more here: http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/foodsafetyandyou/keeping-food-safe/key-tips

Swim between the flags

Going to the beach is a favourite Australian pastime, but it’s also a dangerous place. To reduce your chances of drowning always swim between the red and yellow flags. Avoid swimming at unpatrolled beaches and never swim alone. Be aware of your limitations and swimming skills, refrain from drinking alcohol when swimming and never swim at night. https://www.royallifesaving.com.au/families/out-and-about/locations/beach-safety

CHESS would like to wish all their clients and colleagues the happiest of holidays. We are looking forward to welcoming you back in 2018.

CHESS Marketing Manager Heather is passionate about bringing NGO's into the future through digital marketing and brand storytelling. A big fan-girl of fantasy fiction, Heather enjoys switching off from the virtual world with a good book and a hot cup of joe.