Safe shopping during the holidays

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Shopping during the holidays can be very hectic. Traffic is on the increase everywhere, on roads, streets and parking lots.

You may even find yourself standing in lines you never would have normally: lines for checking out, lines for the restrooms and lines for meals. You may have to sit in line to get gas for your car. All of these “line” episodes could cause a very interrupted and irritable person, making it difficult to complete tasks and may lead people to skip some healthy lifestyle behaviors.

During this busy time of year, be aware that increased traffic is inevitable, it is just going to be everywhere you look. With this in mind, here are a few hints to hopefully help the day be a little less disastrous and stressful while avoiding road rage at the same time.

— Leave in enough time to get you to your location. Speeding does not get you there that much faster.

— Leave enough distance between cars. You never know when you might have to edge up in order to avoid a collision behind you or avoid colliding into the person in front of you, due to an abrupt stop.

— Remember to not use your cell phone while driving for optimum safety and keep in mind that texting while driving is illegal in Kentucky.

— Do not block intersections or run yellow lights.

— Do not waste time circling the parking lot for the “prime” spot. Use this time to get in extra physical activity. Burn off those extra calories.

Now that you have arrived to your shopping destination, look for more ways to be safe and turn your day into a smooth success.

— Keep your car locked at all times. Do not leave running, even for five minutes.

— Keep items out of sight or out of plain view. Windows can easily be broken by a thief.

— Be forward thinking. If you think you are going to be shopping after sunset or before sunrise, be sure to park in a well-lit area.

— Shop with a partner and walk in groups.

— Be aware of your surroundings. Listen around you and walk with purpose.

— Have car keys ready before walking to your car.

— Do not forget your recyclable shopping bags. Go green and help the environment.

— Keep shopping bags and/or purse close to your body, to avoid easy snatches.

With all of this in mind, one more thing to consider … what’s for lunch? There will be plenty of choices in the food court. Choose as well as you can, go for vegetables if possible, baked potatoes are better than french fries. Consider how your day is going to go with timing. Time your lunch, in other words do not “shop ‘til you drop.” Be sure you are fueled appropriately.

Drink plenty of fluids and be careful to not dehydrate yourself. Go for water instead of sugary carbonated drinks.

Don’t forget hand washing, if you cannot get to a bathroom, bring a small container of hand sanitizer to use right before you eat and after refueling your car.

Abiding by all of these ideas will hopefully keep you safe, healthy and strong. Thinking ahead is always the way to go when shopping during the holiday season.

Clark County Health Department provides programs for the entire family, including Cooper Clayton, WIC, HANDS, family planning, well child care/immunizations and home health care. For more information on all of our services, call 744-4482 or visit our website at www.clarkhealthdept.org. You can also “like” us on Facebook.