Keep health, safety during Super Bowl celebration

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo -- It's that time of the year again when families and friends celebrate an American national "holiday" Feb. 3, filled with merriment and food - the Super Bowl.

Though this year's celebration will pit Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, fans of the losing teams will still take this opportunity to watch the biggest American sporting event.

As the second largest day for food consumption after Thanksgiving, it is essential for people to take health and safety into consideration, especially when hosting a party, preparing food or going out for a celebration.

"Keep healthy eating in mind and consume food in moderation while having fun," said Staff Sgt. Vanessa Arthur, Schriever Health and Wellness Center NCO in charge. "Have healthy options available because it will encourage people to eat them."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer tips on how to have a safe and healthy Super Bowl celebration.

Food consumption:
- When hosting a party, add healthy snacks to the menu instead of high fat foods. Eat healthy snacks before the celebration to prevent overindulging.
- Include fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apple halves or carrot sticks. There should be a variety in season.
- Many dips and dressings contain far more calories than people think. Limit portions or serve fat free or low fat dips and dressings.
- Offer foods and beverages low in fat, calories, sugars, salt and sodium.
- Serve foods and beverages that can be consumed by people with diabetes or on special diets.
- Consider food safety. Take steps to avoid serving recalled products and follow food safety guidelines to prevent illness.
- Follow rules of food safety: clean, separate, cook and chill.

Alcohol intake:
Alcohol is common during sports celebrations, especially during one of the biggest sporting events.
- Limit alcohol intake. Take steps to prevent guests from driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Only serve alcohol to guests 21 years of age and older.
- Plan ahead. Always designate a non-drinking driver before any party or celebration begins. Find unique ways to reward the driver at the party such as giving them a great spot to watch the game or letting them have the first pass at the table.
- Determine ahead of time when you'll stop serving alcohol, such as one hour before the end of the party or at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
- Don't drink and drive or let others drink and drive.
- Be a helpful host by reminding guests to designate a sober driver and offer non-alcoholic beverages.

Safety:
Super Bowl parties can be fun but it's important to pay close attention to things that may cause injury and take precautions.
- Never leave children unattended.
- Avoid wearing clothing or costumes that block vision or restrict movement.
- Make sure pets can handle the excitement before placing them in new or strange situations.
- Never use generators, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside the house, basement, garage or camper. Even when using these items outdoors, make sure they are not near an open window.
- Have a fire extinguisher nearby when cooking or using a grill in case there's an accidental flare-up.
- Have a first-aid kit in your home and vehicle to handle injuries like small cuts and bruises.
- Wear seatbelts.
- Wear appropriate protective gear when playing a pick-up game or riding bicycles, motorcycles and skateboards.

"It is essential to plan ahead to ensure the safety of the guests," said Tech. Sgt. Sarah Law, 50th Space Wing ground safety manager. "As always, be a wingman. Fans do not let fans drive drunk."

For more information about having a safe and healthy Super Bowl celebration, visit www.cdc.gov.