PORT ELIZABETH, ER24 paramedics have offered safety tips as people country wide prepare to celebrate the New Year’s Eve holidays and usher in 2020 over the coming week.

“This is the chance to celebrate the year that we leave behind with friends and family. Unfortunately, emergencies and situations may arise that can turn a celebration into an unfortunate affair,” paramedics said in a statement.

Tips include, not drinking and driving, driving carefully, to be aware of surroundings, to take care around fireworks and to stay hydrated.

“Drinking and driving is not only dangerous to yourself but to your fellow motorists. Ask a friend to be the designated driver for the evening or utilise one of the several taxi services to get to and from your destinations,” they said.

“Even though you might drive carefully on the roads, others might not be as cautious. Stay aware of other drivers and obey all the rules of the road. Should you not feel comfortable driving late at night, rather make use of a taxi service.”

They also recommend that individuals who are drinking always be aware of their surroundings for their own personal safety and that people carry fully charged mobile phones with them at all times.

“During the celebrations, there may be individuals that may take advantage of these situations. Make sure that your cellphone is fully charged, that you travel in crowds, never accept drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended, they said.

They also warn of the dangers of fireworks despite their beauty. “Depending on your location, lighting fireworks can be illegal. Make sure that there is a responsible person handling the fireworks at all times and that there are no children left unattended near the fireworks.

“Fireworks can also cause distress to animals and may result in them injuring themselves or trying to escape from a property.”

Staying hydrated is crucial, especially when people consume alcohol. “No matter what activity you might be partaking in, make sure that you stay hydrated.

“Should you be drinking alcohol, make sure that you match every drink with a glass of water. This will help with the morning after.

Source: African News Agency