New Years Eve is a great chance to celebrate the year gone by and the coming of a new one. However, these celebrations also come with great dangers and responsibilities.
Here’s the types of calls MedStar crews responded to over the New Year holiday in 2022:
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you make your New Years plans!
New Years Eve Driving
After midnight, New Years celebrations end, and revelers make their way home. The combination of sheer number of travelers plus the inevitability of irresponsibly impaired drivers makes for a dangerous evening on the roads and one of the deadliest days for drunk driving.
If you are celebrating New Years Eve away from your home or will be traveling at all, here are some ideas to keep you safe.
- Plan your travel options ahead of time, arranging for a designated driver, a hotel stay, ride share, public transportation, or other “Plan B” options before your night out.
- Consider using ride share to and from your destination so you can avoid leaving your car in a strange place overnight.
- New Years Day is also the most hazardous day of the year for pedestrians. Not only are drivers potentially impaired, but those on foot can also ignore traffic lights or crosswalks.
- If you are walking, make sure to stay on pedestrian paths and observe traffic laws; only cross at crosswalks and try to remain in well-lit areas.
- If you are driving, take extra care to consider those on foot.
For Party Hosts
- Make sure smoke alarms are working and have fresh batteries.
- Offer non-alcoholic drink options and have plenty of water available.
- Use differently colored cups for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Dump unattended cups so kids and pets do not consume them.
- Stop serving alcohol several hours before the party ends (and stick to it!).
- Provide food and snacks so guests aren’t drinking on an empty stomach.
- Avoid salty snacks, which can encourage people to drink more.
- Provide guests with a place to stay overnight should they need to.
- Even if accommodations are less than ideal (like a blanket on the floor), they will be safe!
It’s a strange one, but a projectile champagne cork can absolutely be a danger, especially if you are not used to opening bottles! Use the “45 Rules” for bubbly.
- Chill champagne to at least 45 degrees F, as this will make the cork less likely to pop.
- When ready to open, place a towel over the top of the bottle and hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle, pointing it away from yourself and others.
While it is against the law to use or even possess fireworks in the MedStar member cities, in the past 5 years, MedStar crews treated 14 victims of fireworks injuries, 3 of them children. 8 of the 14 patients required transport to Parkland’s burn center for medical care.
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
- Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
- Never light them indoors.
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.
- And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!
- If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
- Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
- Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.
Yes, this is Texas, and it’s not unusual for people to consider celebratory gunfire at midnight. Not only is this illegal in MedStar’s member cities, but it can be deadly; falling bullets can be fatal.
- In Phoenix in 1999, a young teen was killed outside of her home by a bullet that was fired into the air more than a mile away.
- Deaths have resulted in harsher penalties for this crime, so leave all firearms safely locked inside this holiday.