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A Healthy Variation on a Favorite Holiday Song

Who doesn’t love that “Twelve Days of Christmas” song? Well, maybe not everyone, but it’s fun to test your memory to see if you can list all the drummers drumming, lords a-leaping, and of course, the five gold rings!
Just for fun, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have come up with an alternate version of the song, to remind us to have safer, healthier holidays. No matter what holidays your family celebrates, you’ll find some great suggestions here.
On the first day of Christmas … Wash your hands often to help prevent the possibility of spreading germs and getting sick. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
On the second day of Christmas … Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing for the weather. Help senior loved ones wear light, warm layers and a hat.
On the third day of Christmas … Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out. Find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.
On the fourth day of Christmas … Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Even if you’re not driving, consumer alcohol in moderation.
On the fifth day of Christmas … Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. It’s common knowledge that smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but nonsmokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke (also referred to as secondhand smoke).
On the sixth day of Christmas … Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Use seat belts on every trip, no matter how short the trip.
On the seventh day of Christmas … Get the recommended exams and screenings. Ask your health care provider what exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history.
On the eighth day of Christmas … Get your immunizations, which help prevent various diseases and save lives. Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk for complications from flu, which includes older adults, and for people who live with or care for someone who is at high risk. And ask your doctor about the new shingles vaccine.
On the ninth day of Christmas … Monitor children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. And keep toys picked up so older family members don’t trip over them.
On the tenth day of Christmas … Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
On the eleventh day of Christmas … Prepare food safely. The holidays are a time when we might “invite” an unwanted guest—foodborne illness! Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures, and refrigerate them promptly.
On the twelfth day of Christmas … Eat healthy, stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables, which pack plenty of nutrients and help lower the risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Also, get 150 minutes per week of exercise. Every little bit helps!
Happy, healthy holidays from our families to yours!

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