Tips for a safe New Year’s Eve
For the Nevada Appeal
This column addresses topics related to the health of our community.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are laden with traditions for ringing out the old and ringing in the new. Party hats, confetti, champagne, resolutions and black-eyed peas are all on the list. Some people prefer to stay home and keep it casual. But for many, there is nothing better than being in a huge crowd of people – indoors or outdoors – celebrating and waiting for the big moment. If you are planning to go out on New Year’s Eve, here are some safety tips to help you ring in the New Year safely.
Designate a Driver
Plan in advance not to drive if you will be drinking. Days before New Year’s Eve, call around and find someone who prefers not to drink to be your designated driver that night. Alternatively, plan to travel by taxi. Cabs will be readily available. Some bars offer a shuttle service to those who need it, and some communities offer free bus service that night. Whatever your choice, make it and stick to it. Also, the simple act of walking after too much alcohol consumption can be tricky, as a person could stumble into the path of a vehicle. Consider the buddy system and use caution when walking near busy roadways.
This tip may sound a bit paranoid, but when you are among crowds and a lot of alcohol is being consumed, it’s important to constantly be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye on the way others are acting. Steer clear of people who seem to be out of control and could cause harm. Prevention is the key. If someone in your own group is really intoxicated, be sure they do not drive or leave with someone they do not know.
Go Easy on the Alcohol
The majority of people out on New Year’s Eve will be drinking. Be among the ones who drink responsibly. Pay attention to how much you consume and use moderation. Drinking too much alcohol can have lethal affects.
As a group, stay relatively close to one another. Nightclubs and outdoor street venues can be fast-paced and crazy. Traveling in a group serves as a safety net. For women especially, this is imperative.
Don’t Forget About the Pets
Pets should not be allowed to roam about on New Year’s Eve because some people use fireworks that night. Before you leave the house, be sure they are indoors and safe.
Cash or Credit Cards
Although this is not a public health tip, it is nevertheless an important piece of advice. On New Year’s Eve, those who celebrate in public places should exercise caution with money that evening. Alcohol tends to alter rational thinking and wallets can easily be lifted or dropped. There are criminals who plan for events like this when it is guaranteed there will be a large selection of theft targets.
When celebrating out, consider using plastic with a limited value or “no loss” guarantee from the issuing bank. Never leave your wallet or purse unattended.
At some places, you can set up a tab with a credit card, then lock the card in your car, have the sober designated driver hold it, or place it in a money belt or body wallet. If the establishment holding the New Year’s celebration accepts pre-payment over the phone for the entire evening, that is a great way to leave all money and plastic at home.
Carson City Health and Human Services wishes you a happy, healthy 2011.
“New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” – Mark Twain
WHO: Carson City Health and Human Services
WHERE: 900 East Long Street, Carson City
WHAT: General Clinic
Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., by appointment, Monday-Wednesday and Friday
WHAT: Men’s Clinic
WHEN: 4-6 p.m. Mondays
NOTE: Call for an appointment 775-887-2195
WHAT: Immunization Day
WHEN: 8:30-11:30 a.m.; 1-4:30 p.m. Thursdays. No appointment needed
NOTE: Vaccination is the best defense against the flu! CCHHS offers flu injections or nasal mist for $10. No appointment is necessary.
WHOOPING COUGH EPIDEMIC IN CALIFORNIA
In neighboring California, confirmed cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, is now four times that of last year. Local health officials encourage Tdap boosters for any adult up to 64 years of age that is in close contact with an infant. Whooping cough boosters for adults and vaccine for infants is available at Carson City Health and Human Services.
On the NEt:
• Pam Graber, public information officer for Carson City Health and Human Services, can be reached at 775-283-7906 or firstname.lastname@example.org.