Medical Monday: Preventing holiday illness

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Injuries can happen when putting up Christmas decorations or when kids play with glass ornaments or toys with small pieces. Illness can also occur when large groups of people get together.

Dr. Terrence Kolb is Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center's Emergency Medical Director. He says when families gather, so do germs. He says some simple precautions can help you stay healthy and out of the emergency room.

"Hand hygiene. There's probably nothing more important than that. I know we want to give big hugs and kisses to everybody, especially when we're seeing the grandkids and the in-laws. If someone has a cold, you really need to avoid hugging and kissing on them," explained Dr. Kolb.

Medication is also something that needs to be monitored during the holidays. When family members travel, they bring medication with them, and young children may not know that it can be harmful. That's why Dr. Kolb stresses the importance of keeping medication in a secure location so that only the person who it's prescribed to can access it.