If you or a loved one has symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, loss of consciousness, heavy bleeding, breathing difficulties, severe abdominal or chest pain, or a major accident, call 9-1-1 or go immediately to
your nearest hospital emergency department
. Emergency departments are open throughout the holidays for people who require urgent and emergency health care.
If you have a health concern that is not an emergency and your doctor is unavailable, you can go to a
or go to your nearest Community Health Centre.
Call 8-1-1 or visit the
HealthLink BC website
for assistance finding a clinic near you or for health care advice from a nurse, pharmacist or dietician.
If you live in Vancouver, the
Urgent Care Centre at UBC Hospital is open throughout the holidays. The centre is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and is staffed with emergency-trained doctors and nurses to handle minor medical emergencies that don’t require admission to hospital, such as broken bones, fevers, minor burns and eye problems.
- Wash your hands to avoid picking up colds, stomach viruses and other infections.
- Get a
- Keep your prescription medication filled.
- Speak to a pharmacist or health care provider before taking over the counter cold medications.
- Have the right gear for your winter activity. Wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding, wear the right shoes or boots for walking in snow or ice
- Shovel snow wisely: dress warmly, take breaks and don’t overdo it. Be honest about how much you can do yourself and ask for help for the rest.
- Mind slippery sections and black ice when walking.
- Make sure your fire detectors and carbon monoxide monitors work, especially with all the extra lights, Christmas trees and candles at this time of year.
- Put snow tires on your car.
- Drink responsibly. Don’t drink and drive.
The holidays can be a trying time of year, socially and emotionally. If you are feeling blue or overly stressed, be sure to speak with someone. Our
emergency contacts page
lists distress, suicide, addiction and poison control phone numbers.