I can’t believe it’s almost New Year’s Eve. Hopefully you’ve all had a good year and the future is looking bright. For those of you who have followed this blog over the years you know I am always looking out for my readers, worried about your well-being, and encouraging you to get organized and plan ahead. So of course I have to ring out the old with one last word of advice-beware of drinking and walking. Yes-you read right. Statistics show that New Year’s is the deadliest for pedestrians than any other night of the year.

When a car is involved many of us choose a designated driver who will remain sober throughout the festivities and drive us home safely. If the destination is fairly close people may think that they will be fine just walking home. According to Dr. Thomas Esposito, a trauma surgeon at Loyola University Chicago Stitch School of Medicine, drunk walking can be very dangerous. Alcohol impairs judgment, reflexes and coordination. Notes Esposito “Alcohol impairs your ability to walk and navigate, especially if you are in the dark. The morning hours of New Years are filled with drivers who may less aware of their surroundings and less able to respond to dangerous conditions. The combination of the two is a recipe for disaster.”

It is not only walking outside that can be problematic. People who have stayed inside have had incidences of falling downstairs or tripping and hitting their head.

While we are on the subject of staying safe on New Year’s Eve, another hazard that many of us don’t consider is the potential for eye injuries from flying corks. Experts from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) note a big increase in eye injuries on New Year’s Eve. The champagne cork is under 90 pounds of pressure and comes out quickly with huge force. According to the Academy, “Within a fraction of a second there is no time to get away or blink. Half of champagne cork injuries cause blindness in the eye that takes the hit.”

Caregivers – get out and enjoy yourself on New Year’s Eve! Here are some tips to ring in the year safely:

1) If you are planning on walking after partying wear light clothing and carry a flashlight that emits a large beam.

2) Don’t walk alone. A large group is easier for drivers to spot. If possible have a designated chaperone who hasn’t been drinking and can keep an eye on things.

3) Never walk on a highway and be cognizant of pedestrian rules such as only crossing in designated crosswalks.

4) If you’re a driver be especially careful around bars and restaurant districts.

5) For champagne drinkers keep bottles chilled until ready to use as corks may pop unexpectedly from a warm bottle. When ready don’t shake the bottle as it can cause the gas to expand placing more pressure on the cork. Always point the bottle away from yourself and others even as you unscrew the safety wire, and open at a 45 degree angle so that it does not ricochet off the ceiling. Rather than the pop the cork, gently unscrew it as this creates more control.

-If you’re hosting a house party you are as obligated to those walking home as those driving.  You might need to make your party turn into a sleepover. With drivers we would take away the keys-with walkers take their shoes.

Happy New Year Everyone!


Source: Everyday Health
December 28, 2013
By Lynda Shrager>