Celebrate with safety in mind

The long-awaited holiday is almost here and whatever your intentions, be it going away on holiday, visiting local attractions or staying at home, ER24 is urging everyone to celebrate with safety in mind. If you are driving to your destination, remember the following:

  • Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy. Ensure you have a spare wheel, first aid kit and fire extinguisher in the vehicle.
  • Plan your route. It is a good idea to take note of all filling stations, police stations and hospitals.
  • Carry a torch, fire extinguisher and reflective bib in case you encounter problems with your vehicle.
  • Keep a list of telephone numbers of people to contact as well as your medical details and history (medical aid number, blood group and allergies for example).
  • Let people you trust know where you are going and when they can expect you back.
  • Buckle up and ensure children in the vehicle are appropriately restrained. If you are travelling with pets make sure they are restrained.
  • Do not drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Ensure you are well rested before your journey. Take regular breaks. If there is another person in the vehicle who is licensed to drive, rather share the driving.
  • Refrain from road rage. Be alert at all times and do not speed. Alter your speed according to the environment you are in.

Youngsters

Matriculants and other youngsters celebrating are urged to do so responsibly. Motor vehicle collisions and drowning incidents involving youngsters are common at this time of year. Contributing factors include reckless driving and the abuse of drugs and alcohol. If you go to a party or club, remember not to accept drinks, especially open ones, from anyone. Do not leave your drinks unattended. Youngsters should ensure parents are aware of where they are going for their own safety.  

Outdoors 

If you plan on going camping or sightseeing, do some research about the area if you have never been there and plan accordingly. Be aware of your surroundings at all times especially when hiking, sightseeing or approaching areas that include cliffs. You could be stepping on loose stones or boulders or venture too close to the edge of a cliff. If there are children with you, ensure you know where they are at all times. This should be something you ensure at all times. 

Braai 

If you plan to have a braai while away on holiday, ensure you are allowed to do so at the location you have chosen. If you are allowed to, be careful. When having a braai at home or while away on holiday, keep a fire extinguisher close by. The braai stand should not be placed in or close to the only escape. The braai stand should be sturdy. Never abandon the fire. Do not start fires close to dry brush and grass. Children should be a safe distance away from the braai area. Teach them about the dangers of playing with matches and lighters. 

Drowning 

Remember that anyone is at risk of drowning. Never allow children to swim without adult supervision. Keep your pool covered with an approved cover when not in use. Do not swim too far out into the ocean. You may struggle due to fatigue or get swept further away due to strong currents. Wearing a life jacket is vital. Only swim in designated areas that are supervised by lifeguards. Never swim alone. Never dive or jump into unfamiliar or shallow water.

Remember that by learning CPR, you can help save a life. It is never too early or late to learn. If you are at the beach and you see a person struggling in the water, inform a lifeguard immediately. Ensure you wear a life jacket if you decide to help the person yourself. If you remove the person from the water, initiate CPR if there is no pulse and breathing.

Do not stop CPR unless the person starts to breathe on their own. Call for an ambulance as soon as you are able to or get someone to do so. Do not put the person in your vehicle and drive to a hospital. You may be involved in a collision or the patient may suffer brain damage. In case of a near drowning, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Explain to medical staff what has happened. There are instances where secondary drowning occurs. The person may seem okay even though they have taken in water that finds its way to the lungs. 

Home safety 

If you are going to be away from home, remember to cancel newspaper deliveries and have a friend or family member remove letters or pamphlets that may be put in your post box, at your fence or gate. It is a great idea to have a security system installed if you do not have one. If you do have a security system, ensure that your alarm, electrical fence, beams, cameras or any other security measures that you have in place, are working. When leaving home, ensure that windows are closed and that doors, garages and burglar gates are locked. If you are going all out with Christmas trees, lights or other decorations, avoid overloading electrical outlets. Ensure potentially dangerous items, such as those that pose a choking hazard or breakable items such as those made of glass, are out of a child’s reach. Turn off decorative lights when you go to sleep or leave home.

ER24 can be contacted 24-hours a day on 084 124 in case of a medical emergency.