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Juliet McGuire

7 things to keep you safe over the holidays

Just last week I brought you my tips on how to stay safe on our roads over the festive season. Now, they were of course, a bit unorthodox in their approach, but I am sure you got the sentiment. Who wants to read boring blog pieces anyway?

It is not only on the roads where one needs to be vigilant. I don’t know about you, but I tend to suffer from a bit of anxiety leading up to the December break. There is always so much going on. Not to mention being concerned about all my loved ones who are traveling.

I felt these tips on keeping safe over the festive season were ones we should all take note of. Yes, they can seem obvious, but sometimes, if you find yourself in a situation, one of these tips will come to mind because you had only recently read it. So please, take note!

1. Share your travel plans

Whether you’re packing everyone in the car and driving a few hours to the coast or you’re just quickly going to the mall, you should always let friends or family know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. I wish people would always do this. My husband and I do this so that if we haven’t heard from the other one by a certain time, we know where to start looking.

2. Download an emergency response app

911 Response24 is a genius app that connects you to rapid, reliable emergency services when you need them most. It gives you the peace of mind of knowing that wherever you are in South Africa, whatever you’re doing, if you need armed or medical response, help is on the way fast.

Click here to download 911 Response24 for Android, or click here to download 911 Response24 for iOS.

3. Double check those Christmas lights

If you’re decorating with lights on a tree and around your house, it’s important to check that everything’s in working order before they go up. The last thing you need over the holidays is for a fire to start in the living room! Especially with loadshedding up and running again, all electrics must be checked. Better to be safe than sorry.

4. Carry a first aid kit

From insect bites to skinned knees and everything in-between, you’ll never regret having a well-equipped first aid kit with you. Also include some basic medicine in your kit – there’s nothing worse than having to deal with a fever or snotty nose when you’re far from home without the right treatment for the job. This is also very handy to have when traveling on a long road trip.

5. Don’t let the holidays go to your head

Even when you’re away, you shouldn’t forget about those basic security measures that are almost second nature when you’re at home. Lock doors, put away valuables and be aware of your surroundings. Always be aware! Do not let your guard down.

6. Respect the sun

Anyone who’s ever felt the pain of a bad sunburn knows that it can really stop you from enjoying your holiday. But even worse, just one serious sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer. Don’t take chances with your health: lather on the sunscreen, wear protective clothing and stay out of direct sun between 10am and 3pm. I cannot go to the beach without a brollie umbrella.

7. Be part of a community

South Africa is full of amazing people, and if we look out for each other, we’ll all be safer together. Whether you’re planning a staycation this festive season or an epic local holiday, keep an eye on the people around you and see what small things you can do to help them stay safe.

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