Have a safe and healthy holiday season

Withthe busy festive season fast approaching, the NSW health system is remindingpeople of a few simple measures to ensure they have a safe and healthy break.

NSWHealth Deputy-Secretary Susan Pearce said the key to a happy and healthyholiday break is being prepared and knowing how to access the best pathways ofcare.

“EmergencyDepartments are operating as usual over the Christmas and New Year period toassist with urgent, unexpected conditions,” Ms Pearce said.

“In thecase of a health emergency, people should call Triple Zero (000) but for otherhealth concerns Healthdirect, on 1800 022 222, is an excellent source ofassistance.

“Wherethe matter is not of a serious or life-threatening nature, patients are advisedto see their local GP, medical centre or pharmacist.”

MsPearce said it was also important to make sure medications and prescriptionsare also in order before the holiday period, especially if people aretravelling away, and urged families to keep the 24-hour Healthdirect helplinein their phones.

Simplemeasures and precautions for a happy and healthy holiday season include:

  • Moderatingthe consumption of alcohol, particularly on New Year’s Eve;
  • Visitinga GP in the lead up to Christmas to ensure an adequate supply of prescriptionmedications;
  • Takingadditional care on the roads and when participating in outdoor activities;
  • Keepinga close eye on elderly relatives with impaired mobility in unfamiliarsurroundings;
  • Takingprecautions on very hot days, such as maintaining hydration, minimisingphysical activity, wearing light clothing, avoiding alcohol, and stayingindoors between 11am and 5pm, ideally in air conditioning;
  • Supervisingand keeping a watchful eye on children, particularly around water;
  • Refrigeratingfood immediately, throwing out leftovers and carefully cleaning foodpreparation surfaces;
  • Washinghands with soap and water before eating and preparing food, after using thetoilet and after changing nappies; and
  • EnsuringChristmas gifts, including bikes and skateboards, are accompanied withprotective equipment such as helmets and knee pads.

MsPearce said holidays can also be a time of stress for many people, and a widerange of mental health supports are available for those who need help:

  • Mental HealthLine on 1800 011 511 – 24 hours / 7 days a week for mental health assistance
  • Lifeline on 13 1114 24 hours /7 days a week for crisis support
  • beyondblue on1300 224 636 24 hours /7 days a week for and information.

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