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Safety Tips for New Year’s Eve

Posted December 30, 2014 by myjoburg in My Joburg

If you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party, following a few simple rules could prevent a tragedy:

  • Plan ahead by naming a “designated driver.” Make this your responsibility as the host.
  • Contact a local cab company to provide rides for your guests.
  • Serve non-alcoholic beverages as an option to your guests.
  • Stop serving alcohol to your guests several hours before the party ends.
  • Provide your guests with a place to stay overnight in your home.


If you are attending New Year’s Eve parties and celebrations:

  • If you drink, don’t drive.
    • Plan ahead and always designate a sober driver before the party or celebration begins.
    • If you are impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit, or get a sober friend or family member to come pick you up.
    • Or, stay where you are until you are sober.
  • Take the keys from someone if you think he/she is too impaired to drive.

With all the food, drink and other indulgences, holidays aren’t known for their positive influence on your health. When you throw in traffic accidents, New Year’s Eve places near the top of most lists of dangerous holidays – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration puts it second behind Thanksgiving. It can seem like the safest way to make it to 2015 is to stay home.

Since drinking and driving pose the most serious threats on New Year’s Eve, celebrating at home can be a good idea. But there is something special about being out and about on the last night of the year, especially in Missoula with all its First Night music, dance and theater events.

Whether you go out on the town or have friends over to party on New Year’s Eve, you can take some of the health risks out of holiday celebrations with these tips.


If you drive:

• Don’t drink. It’s old advice and still true.

• Keep an eye out for impaired drivers. Even slow-moving vehicles can cause accidents.

• Watch for pedestrians. People who have been drinking may ignore traffic and step into the street unexpectedly.

• Look out for kids. First Night draws families to the many events, and youngsters may be out later than usual. Watch for kids running into streets or stepping out from between parked cars.


If you entertain at home:

• Provide non-alcoholic drinks. Even if most of your guests are drinking alcohol, give them the option of having juice, soda or water.

• Serve snacks. Food slows alcohol absorption.

• If you have fireworks, make sure the person handling them is sober.

• Watch your guests for signs that they are too impaired to drive, and don’t allow these folks to leave unless you see them get into a car with a designated driver.

• Consider hiring a cab to take impaired guests home.


If you go to a party or bar:

• Keep the option open of not drinking alcohol, or having just one or two.

• Appoint a designated driver that you can trust, or be that person yourself.

• If you plan to drink, eat first. Alcohol hits harder on an empty stomach.

• Pace yourself by alternating your alcoholic drinks with glasses of water, soda or another non-alcoholic beverage.

• Set a number of drinks or a time to switch to non-alcoholic drinks. Once you become impaired, it’s hard to make that call.

• Be a good friend by taking care of your companions. Get a non-alcoholic drink for someone who has had enough, or call a cab for someone who should go home.

• If you’ve had too much to drink, don’t hesitate to leave your car and take a cab home.

Staying safe and healthy is a year-round goal. But it takes on extra significance on New Year’s Eve, which is both an ending and a beginning. Here’s hoping you have a great celebration and a safe and healthy new year.


Pet Safety:

Nothing frightens pet’s more than sudden loud noises. Extra attention must be given so your pets won’t run away in a panic. Scared, running pets can be hit by cars, cause accidents, and become lost…not to mention, frequently bite people.


Other tips for your New Year’s Celebration include:

  • Make sure all fences and gates are secure.
  • Make sure your pet has its ID or dog license, come down and microchip NOW, if you already have a microchip make sure it is current.
  • Ask your veterinarian for tranquilizers if your animal has shown signs of extreme uneasiness in the past.
  • Keep your pets INSIDE, in a comfortable room, with comforting music playing to drowned out scary noises.



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