The holiday season is upon us. With all the hustle and bustle that comes with the joy of the season, it is easy to forget about maintain healthy activities. Members of Healthier Somerset offer the following tips to help keep you and your family healthy this holiday season.

The Somerset County Department of Health recommends everyone should wash their hands often for 20 seconds. Recent, U.S. Department of Agriculture research found that participants failed to wash their hands properly 97 percent of the time when cooking. Without proper handwashing, well-intentioned cooks, servers and guests can quickly spread bacteria around your meal. Be sure to wash your hands before and after handling raw turkey, especially when seasoning the bird.

Bundle up for warmth if you’re going outside and be aware of signs that your body isn’t handling the cold well, such as stiffness in the neck, arms, and legs. Your immune system, skin, balance, and heart may be at risk.

Get a flu shot if you haven’t gotten one already. The best way to protect against influenza is to get a flu vaccine every flu season. Share the love, not the germs!

Fasten seat belts. Always use them, no matter how short the trip.

Don’t drink and drive, and don’t let others drink and drive.

To keep in mind the needs of your guests, when cooking for a large group,

Some of your guests may have food allergies or dietary restrictions; some may be at higher risk for food-borne illness because they may be transplant recipients, cancer patients or diabetics. Pregnant women and seniors are also at higher risk.

Although the holiday season is filled with lots of love and fun; it can also be a pretty expensive and stressful time of the year. It’s important to practice self-care and find fun, free activities that you can do with your family.

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