New Year’s Eve Safety Tips

new yearsDon’t Drink and Drive.

People are two to three times more likely to be involved in an alcohol-related crash during New Year’s Eve. Add bad weather, like rain, sleet, ice or snowy conditions to that mix, and it becomes the perfect storm for a fatal car accident.

  • Call a taxi or an Uber.
  • Ask for a ride home or choose a designated driver before the party begins.
  • If you’re hosting a party:
    • Collect keys ahead of time and only give keys back if you’re sure your guests can drive home unimpaired.
    • If you suspect your guests have had too much to drink and you need to take them to the ER, keep them sitting up and awake, keep them warm, and try to get them to drink water.

Firework Safety

One of the not-so-smart ideas is mixing fireworks and drinking. ER doctors treat lots of burns, finger injuries and eye injuries each New Year’s Eve.

  • Supervision from an adult is a must. Never give young children any type of fireworks. Even sparklers can be dangerous to small children who don’t know how to properly handle them.
  • Outside use only. Fireworks should never be used indoors or carried in pockets. Go to a clear area outside, away from vehicles and buildings.
  • Keep water on hand. Always have a water hose or a large bucket of water close by in case of a fire. Once you are done shooting off fireworks, use the water to soak all of the remnants to prevent a fire.
  • Have a “designated shooter.” Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. Make sure that the person handling the fireworks is sober. This will decrease the possibility of accidents.
Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. There is no waiting like in the hospital emergency room waiting when you are sick.

Health Issues Affected by Cold Weather

cold weatherCold weather doesn’t create bacteria or viruses, but it can make your body much more susceptible to colds, flu and infections. Cold can also complicate many other conditions like heart problems. The body reacts to cold temperatures by constricting blood vessels and slightly thickening the blood, both of which put stress on the cardiovascular system. Exerting yourself in the cold then makes matters worse, and you may experience chest pain.

High Blood Pressure

Even in you don’t have heart disease, cold weather means increased blood pressure. Your body does this naturally to conserve heat. The body makes sure that your vital organs have blood, and so there is less blood flow to arms and legs.

Trouble Breathing

People with asthma also find that their condition worsens in the winter. Unfortunately, inhalation of cold and dry winter air makes a person much more susceptible to have spasms called bronchospasms, contractions of the lung’s air passages. Many doctors advise patients to take their asthma medications right before they exert themselves, like walking or winter yard work.

Circulation Issues

People with connective tissue diseases like Raynaud’s disease, lupus or scleroderma also have complications due to cold weather. The cold temperatures create blood vessel spasms that reduce or eliminate circulation to fingers and toes. Doctors advise these patients to exercise indoors during the cold weather season.

How to Help: Layer Up

To avoid these complications, protect yourself against the cold. Dress warmly in layers. The base layer closest to the skin should wick away moisture. The middle layer or layers should be insulating, such as fleece or wool, and the outer layer should be a loose-fitting windproof and waterproof outer layer. Air is the real insulator and the layered clothing helps trap air between layers to keep you warm.

Also wear gloves at all times. Socks can also be layered but make sure the sock closest to your skin wicks away moisture. Head gear is extremely important; wear a hat at all times that also protects the ears. Most of the body’s heat loss occurs through the head.

Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No waiting in the hospital emergency room waiting when you are sick.

Holiday Illnesses: What to Know Before I Travel

travelWe’ve all been there—sitting beside someone on a train or airplane. They’re sneezing and coughing, and you’re trying to cover your nose and mouth and get out of their path of germs.

Getting sick over the holidays and missing out on all the fun and festivities is no fun at all. But how can you avoid getting sick while traveling? Here are some top tips for the holidays.

Hygiene

It’s really true that washing your hands is the single best defense against illness. Wash your hands frequently, after being in public places like airports, train stations and taxis, but also holiday attractions like museums that you might visit. Pack a bottle of hand sanitizer to use in a pinch. It’s particularly important that you wash your hands before eating, so that germs don’t touch the food that you ingest.

Hydration

Drinking plenty of water is a foundation of good health. Airplanes have dry air and you can more easily become dehydrated. The same is true if you’re traveling to a high-altitude destination. While you’re in an airplane, alcohol consumption can further dehydrate you, so try to avoid it.

Exercise

Since you’re on holiday, you may want to also take a holiday from exercising, but don’t. Instead, keep up the exercise. Do something, even if it is not your normal workout or routine. Exercise gets your blood circulation moving and also boosts your immune system. It also has the added benefit of helping with jet lag.

Most people put a lot of effort into the holidays shopping, cooking and party planning top the list. But don’t forget to plan to stay healthy as you travel this holiday season. If you don’t have your health, those other things are not so fun. Here’s to your health!

Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No waiting in the hospital emergency room waiting when you are sick.