Holidays are a time to celebrate, give thanks, and reflect. They are also a time to pay special attention to your health. Give the gift of health and safety to yourself and others by following these 30 holiday tips. Don’t let your holiday be ruined by becoming the victim of a crime, accident or bad health. Unfortunately, not everyone out there has a peace-on-earth-goodwill-toward-men attitude at this time of year.

The holiday season is filled with happiness and celebration, but it can also be a time of danger. Unfortunately, there are criminals who use the holidays to target victims who may be distracted by the busy season.

This holiday, take a personal responsibility to be resilient and embrace a safety culture.

1. Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.

2. Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the season. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic. The weather man is updating that the heavy long rains might continue upto end of December so avoid risk taking when it comes to driving or travelling during rainy season.

3. Crimes such as robberies, burglaries, and thefts typically increase slightly during the holiday season. Whether you are traveling or remaining on at home throughout the period, please take extra care to safeguard your property and lock your room, business or office when you leave it. Also, if you live off your house, remember to lock windows and all entry points.

4. When walking during the evening hours, be aware of your surroundings and only walk in well-lit and populated areas. Don’t display your ipads and tablets, cash on the street, and be aware of your environment. Try not to walk alone at night.

5. Don’t overburden your holiday by carrying bags that are too heavy and cumbersome. Pack lightly. You can’t be aware of your surroundings when your bags are blocking your view and slowing you down.Your neighbors too might think you are traveling for a long vocation and some might take advantage of breaking into your house.

6. Do not store combustible materials such as gasoline, propane, paper, chemicals, paint, rags, and cleaning products near your gas furnace. LPG, Gasoline or propane cylinders should be stored outside the home.

7. Be careful when withdrawing cash at the ATM. The most important key to using your ATM card safety is to be observant and look around for any suspicious persons or activity near the ATM machine, especially during the holiday season. Do not expose your pin number.

8. Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.

9. When approaching and leaving your vehicle be aware of your surroundings.Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.

10. Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.

11. Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings. Always be safety conscious.

12. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con-artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

13. Keep an eye on your kids as they play, they will be trying adventurous activities which may pose alot of risks.

14. Do not over eat as this may cause abdominal related illnesses.

15. Just cook enough food for the day, some left overs or food stored for a long time may cause food poisoning.

16. Keep children away from fireplaces.

17. If you are traveling for a long distance, be communicating to your host. let them know when you leave your house, which route you will use, which means of traveling you will use and your expected arrival time.

18. Always carry with you emergency numbers, torch and heavy bed sheet if you are traveling in the late hours.

19. If you get into your house and find out that there is a smell of gas leak, do not switch on the lights. Open the door and remove the cylinder out and tighten its valve.

20. When driving, do not over-speed, overload or drink-drive. Keep watch of the vehicle ahead, overtaking or behind you and always know that you are the only sane driver on the road and have to observe the traffic rules.

21. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based product.

22. The holidays don’t need to take a toll on your health and wellness. Keep a check on over-commitment and over-spending. Balance work, home, and play. Get support from family and friends. Keep a relaxed and positive outlook. Get enough sleep.

23. Whether you’re traveling across town or around the world, help ensure your trip is safe. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t let someone else drink and drive. Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to his/her height, weight, and age. Get vaccinations if traveling out of the country.

24. Exams and screenings can help find problems early or before they start. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Schedule a visit with your health care provider for a yearly exam. Ask what vaccinations and tests you should get based on your age, lifestyle, travel plans, medical history, and family health history.

25. Children are at high risk for injuries. Keep a watchful eye on your kids. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, choking hazards (like coins and hard candy), and other objects out of kids’ reach. Learn how to provide early treatment for children who are choking. Develop and reinforce rules about acceptable and safe behaviors for all electronic media.

26. Injuries from falls and fireworks often occur around the holidays. Use step stools instead of furniture when hanging decorations. Leave the fireworks to the professionals. Keep candles away from children, pets, walkways, trees, and curtains. Never leave fireplaces, stoves, or candles unattended. Be careful when using generators, grills, or other gasoline- or charcoal- burning devices inside your home or garage. Install a smoke detector and heat detector in your home. Test and change the batteries regularly.

27. As you prepare holiday meals, keep you and your family safe from food-related illness. Wash hands and surfaces often. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs (including their juices) away from ready-to-eat foods and eating surfaces. Cook foods to the proper temperature. Refrigerate promptly. Do not leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.

28. With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays the healthy way. Choose more vegetables and fruit. Select just one or two of your favorites from the host of tempting foods. Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favorite holiday music. Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.

29. You need basic First Aid and fire safety skills to attend to any incident that may arise and this can be obtained from

30. Remember safety starts with you and is both an individual and collective responsibility, be extra careful, resilient, responsible, vigilant, alert, aware and proactive. Enjoy the holiday and arrive back alive.

Please watch my Holiday Health and Safety Video below


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About the Author


Amb. Steve Mbugua is an enthusiastic Ambassador of Safety and wellness with in-depth training, safety advisory and Workplace Safety Behavior Change Coaching experience. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Makinika Afrika Int’l , a Health and Safety Training Firm in Kenya  and Group CEO  Nairobi Safety Shop Limited, the largest Security, Safety and Health Store in the East and Central Africa and Managing Director, Stewa Safaris Kenya Limited a Premier  Tours and  Travels Company in Kenya.

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