Staying Healthy During the Holidays

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- A lump in your throat might as well be a lump of coal this Christmas, no one wants to get sick during the holidays, that's why Tiffany Locke, a Physician's Assistant at the newly opened Midland Primary Care says you should try to nip the sniffles in the bud.

"When you have congestion, you have a running nose, you have allergy symptoms, that leads into infection at some point," Locke said.

Locke recommends over the counter decongestants and antihistamines for anyone over four years old, not only for cold symptoms but for allergies too.

"Christmas trees absolutely play a big part in [holiday allergies.] There are a lot of allergies to poinsettia's out there, things we just wouldn't think about," Locke said. "Families in town bringing a cat or dogs or people smoking and kids aren't used to being around that."

Locke says allergens just like cold air can trigger your child's asthma. Locke advises you to stock up on any medications you may need before medical offices close for the holiday.

"Of course we want to enjoy our holidays, but it's a good idea to keep our portion sizes down for one thing, if you are on insulin definitely watch and adjust accordingly," she said.

Locke says if you suffer from a chronic illness be sure to check your blood pressure and your blood sugar.

"Depression is a big thing around this time of year, so you want to watch for signs of increasing depression and anxiety," Locke added.

Courtyard Primary Care List:

What To Do At Home When Your Doctor's Office Is Closed/How to Stay Out of The Emergency Room Over the Holidays by treating congestion and allergies at the first sign, you can often prevent illness such as sinus infections, asthma attacks, ear infections, bronchitis, and even pneumonia.

Do give antihistamines and/or decongestants to children over the age of 6 years old as well as adults. As long as the dosing guidelines are followed, these can be tremendously helpful.

Do check labels to ensure that duplicate medications are not given. For example, products containing Tylenol should not be used concurrently.

Do use saline nasal drops for children and adults of any age. For young children, also use a bulb syringe to aspirate mucus from the nose.

Do use a humidifier in your home or in your child's room. Moisturizer in the air helps the lining of the nose to stay healthy.

Do continue any allergy and asthma treatments prescribed by your health care provider.

Do not give your child aspirin to treat fever. Children's acetaminophen and ibuprofen are usually safe.

Do not self-medicate with antibiotics left over from a previous prescription.

Do not give over the counter decongestants or cough suppressants to children under the age of four years old.

Seek Medical Attention If:
Your baby under the age of four months has any fever.
Your child has a fever of 100.4 degrees or above the lasting for more than four days.
You or your child experiences difficulty breathing.
You or your child experiences debilitating abdominal or back pain, especially if it is accompanied by fever.
Your child does not respond to you, has seizure, seems lethargic, stops eating and drinking for two or more meals, or has a noticeable reduction in urine output.