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XMAS HEALTH: Tips for staying healthy over the holiday season

Throughout the holiday season and during the winter months, hospital emergency rooms are busy and the number of visits can increase dramatically, according to a Fraser Health press release.

If at any time you feel you require urgent medical attention, you should not hesitate to go to an ER or call 911. But Fraser Health is reminding the public to take a few simple steps to avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital:

• For non-urgent care during office hours, call your family doctor or the doctor on call for the practice or clinic.

• Consider going to a local walk-in clinic; call ahead to check the clinic’s hours.

• Try to see your doctor before the holidays if you have any developing health concerns.

• Know the holiday hours for your local pharmacy or drug store, and ensure your prescriptions are up to date and filled prior to the holidays.

• Call HealthLink BC at 811 for confidential health information and non-emergency services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For deaf and hearing-impaired assistance (TTY), call 711.

• If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control at 1-800-567-8911.

Emergency services at the region’s hospitals, including Eagle Ridge in Port Moody and Royal Columbian in New Westminster, are available at all times but, over the winter months, they experience higher than normal volumes. A triage system is used at the Emergency Department to ensure priority is given to those patients requiring the most urgent care.

More tips for staying safe and health over the holidays:

• It can be a very busy, stressful time of year — slow down and enjoy it.

• Wash your hands before eating and using the bathroom or use an alcohol-based hand rub.

• Get regular exercise and eat nutritious foods.

• Consume everything in moderation, including alcohol.

For more information

Healthy Holiday Eating: www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfeatures/healthy-holiday-eating-1.html

Quick tips to reducing holiday stress: www.healthlinkbc.ca/kb/content/special/av2118.html

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