An Xmas gift from the IHA: Healthy tips for the holidays

In anticipation of heavy volumes at area Emergency Departments over the holiday season, Interior Health is reminding the public to take a few simple steps to avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital.

In a statement issued this week, it outlined a number of precautions people can take as well as some simple tips:

  • For non-urgentcare 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.
  • Note the holiday hours of your local pharmacy or drug store, and ensure your prescriptions are up to date and filled prior to the holidays.
  • Call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for confidential health information and non-emergency services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For deaf and hearing-impaired assistance (TTY), call 7-1-1.
  • If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control at 1-800-567-8911.
  • If at any time you feel that you require urgent medical attention, do not hesitate to go to the Emergency Department or call emergency services at 911.

“In our regional hospitals, emergency services are available 24 hours a day; however, some hospitals may experience higher than normal volumes over the holidays,” the statement said. “A triage system is used at the Emergency Department to ensure priority is given to those patients requiring the most urgent care.”

Here are some more tips for staying safe and healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Ensure your prescriptions are filled in advance, follow dosage directions and remember to keep your medications with you while travelling.
  • Get regular exercise and eat nutritious foods.
  • Everything in moderation, including alcohol.
  • Keep activities fun and safe.
  • Take care driving and avoid taking risks with the weather.