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Christmas health risks - the usual and not so usual

By Rosie Hewitt
Rehabilitation and Delegated Claims Manager

Christmas Trees:
Yes, Christmas trees - these are the bane of asthmatics. We all know that asthma is a threat all year around, however, come the holidays, it is much more apparent. The problem with Christmas trees, whether they be live or fake, are the allergens that come with it. These allergens are mold, pollen, and pesticide when it comes to live trees, and for fake trees it is the dust that they accumulate when they are stored. In order to prevent this, the easiest way is to avoid them altogether; after all, prevention is the key. When it comes to packing Christmas decorations, it would be best if they were stored in a sealed container so as to avoid dust from collecting.


Did you know Christmas and New Year’s Day are the highest risk days of the year for heart attacks? This is possibly due to people delaying medical attention after suffering symptoms due to overindulging, stress, additional salt or excess alcohol.

Peer pressure, along with merry-making, can lead to downing a lot of holiday “spirit.” In order to prevent this, be reminded that a maximum of four standard drinks on a single occasion is recommended to reduce the risk alcohol-related injury. And one important thing to remember is to say NO. It’s easy to have one too many, but it’s even easier to say no.

Not only is the season risky for the physical wellbeing, mental health is also at risk. Along with the cold weather, people during Christmas are much more susceptible to feeling down and depressed. This depression is simply due to sadness which may stem from stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, financial stress, and not being able to be with family members and loved ones.

On a Happier Note:
But the effect of Christmas on health does not need to be a negative one. These negative effects can be mitigated by watching what one chooses to eat and drink, and consciously trying to make healthy choices throughout the season and keeping up with exercise. So take the time off work to rest, relax and enjoy.