By: Dr. Dausen J. Harker

With the first dusting of snow behind us, it’s clear we’re rapidly heading toward another winter holiday season here in Bend.  BMC would like to be the first to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and express our deepest thanks and appreciation for trusting us with your health care.  We are truly blessed to have such excellent patients! Here are some safety tips to help you enjoy the most of your holiday season!

Holiday Decorating 

It is the time of year to get outside and start planning holiday decorations, clean out your gutters and in general, prepare for what we hope is a healthy dose of winter. However, these activities can make us prone to accidents. Be careful hanging holiday decorations by avoiding climbing on roofs, practicing electricity safety, making sure you have appropriate foot wear and tools to prevent slick stairs and driveways like using snow removal equipment and salt.

Outdoor Activities

Fortunately, we live in a fantastic town with access to incredible winter recreation at our back door so the change in seasons doesn’t have to mean long hours inside. Instead, we just swap one set of gear for another.  If you’re headed outside to hit the slopes, the back country, or just heading for a walk in the park do it safely. This may include things like wearing helmets, checking weather reports, wearing appropriate cold weather clothing and taking sport specific safety equipment with you.

Holiday Travel 

There are lots of us that also use this time to head to warmer locations or spend time with family. If you have travel plans this season, make sure you’re up on your immunizations prior to any exotic travel. Pack any medications you may need to take on a regular basis and have plenty of medication to last you throughout your travel.  If you’re driving or flying, pull over or get up from your seat and walk every couple of hours to help prevent muscle aches and issues with blood clots. It is also a good idea to have safety equipment in your car such as flares and extra cold weather gear in case you encounter road trouble.

Alcohol Consumption

This time of year can be filled with celebration, which for some of us may include the use of alcohol. Plan ahead if you plan on consuming alcohol and have a designated driver or a plan to stay off the roads if you have been drinking. Please don’t ruin your holiday season or someone else’s by drinking and driving.

 Volunteer Efforts

Finally, remember that not all of us are as fortunate and the holidays can be a great time to reach out to those in need. Consider volunteering some of your holiday time to support others and our local charities to bring a little extra cheer to those in need.

If you have any medical concerns during the holiday season, BMC will be here with our doors open and will be happy to help you out in any way possible.  Drive safely and enjoy our winter holiday playground!

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