Dr. Eric Wasserman (second from left) and members of the Medical Team in
the Emergency Department’s Geriatric, Adult and Pediatric Emergency
Departments are pictured above.
“The holidays are a time to take extra special precautions to be
safe inside and outside the home,” according to Dr. John A. Brennan,
President and CEO of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s
Hospital of New Jersey and Executive Vice President of Barnabas Health.
Dr. Brennan is also an Emergency Room physician.
Eric J. Wasserman, MD, FACEP, Chairman and Medical Director, Emergency
Department, said, The holiday season brings cooler temperatures and a
host of traditional activities that can lead to predictable patterns of
injury if one is not careful. Prevention is the key to staying healthy
and avoiding emergency department visits this time of year.” Dr.
Wasserman offered the following tips:
1. Stay warm. Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems, especially in infants
and older adults. Stay dry, and dress warmly in several layers of loose-fitting,
tightly woven clothing.
2. Prevent injuries. Injuries can happen anywhere, and some often occur around the holidays.
Use step stools instead of climbing on furniture when hanging decorations.
Be wary of ice and snow forming on steps and walkways and be sure to wear
proper footing when venturing outside.
3. Handle and prepare food safely. As you prepare holiday meals, keep yourself 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.
4. Prevent fires. Most residential fires occur during the winter months. Keep candles away
from children, pets, walkways, trees, and curtains. Never leave fireplaces,
stoves, or candles unattended. Pay close attention to damaged or frayed
electrical cords from lights or appliances. Use power strips with internal
circuit breakers when plugging in multiple devices and don’t overload
5. Don't use generators, grills, or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning
devices inside your home or garage. Carbon monoxide from these sources
can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Install a smoke
detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home. Test them once a month,
and replace batteries twice a year.
6. Avoid back injuries. When shoveling snow, warm up your muscles with some light movement before
shoveling. This can be walking for a few minutes, marching in place or
doing arm circles. Use a smaller shovel so you are not lifting as much
at one time. Also, make sure the handle is long enough to avoid bending
forward too much. Avoid throwing the snow over your shoulder or to the
side. This twisting motion can cause excess strain on the back and lead
to injury. Instead, toss the snow directly forward. When possible, push
the snow instead of lifting it. Most importantly, don’t overdo it.
Take breaks often and stop if you experience discomfort or fatigue.
Contact: Newark Beth Israel Medical Center