Some celebrate with black-eyed peas, and some light fireworks. Others run out the back door and enter through the front. Some bring in the New Year with a kiss. Whatever your tradition, don’t start off your New Year with a health emergency. Here are a few New Year’s safety tips to help you stay safe on New Year’s Eve.
If you drink…
New Year’s Eve ranks just behind Mardi Gras for most alcoholic drinks consumed. If you decide to usher in the New Year with alcohol, drink responsibly.
Binge drinking is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as “a pattern of drinking that brings a persons blood alcohol concentration to 0.08”. This means about 4-5 standard drinks over the course of 2 hours.
A standard drink is…
- 12 ounces of 5% alcohol beer
- 8-9 ounces of 7% alcohol beer
- 5 ounce of 12% alcohol wine
- 1.5 ounces of 50% alcohol spirits
Remember that alcohol still affects your body and your judgement hours after you have stopped drinking.
Never drink and drive
Driving under the influence of alcohol puts your life, the lives of those in your vehicle, and the lives of those on the road at risk. Just don’t do it.
Make plans to get home safely before going out. Establish a designated driver, or plan on using a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft.
Practice good firework safety if you’re planning a fireworks display for New Year’s Eve. Children should be supervised and people lighting fireworks should be sober.
Some people fire guns instead of lighting fireworks on New Year’s Eve. This is illegal in many towns, and dangerous even where it is not prohibited.
Law enforcement officers ask that you skip the celebratory gunfire.
Never use a firearm under the influence of alcohol.
Lots of people travel around New Year’s Day. If you’re driving around the holidays, make sure that you plan ahead.
- Traffic patterns change around the holidays.
- Map your route before you start driving. Have someone navigate for you, or use hands-free navigation.
- Pack an emergency kit for your vehicle.
- Check weather conditions.
- Stay alert while driving; tired driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving.
Celebrating out of town
If you’re celebrating the New Year out of town, make a plan for health emergencies. Identify urgent care clinic and hospital locations. Have your primary care physician’s information readily available. Consider a health ID bracelet, especially if you have any health problems or serious allergies.
Have a safe and happy New Year! For any unexpected medical needs, visit a MANA Urgent Care clinic. For health emergencies, call 911.