By: Natasha Archary
Every December thousands of families lose loved ones on the roads, in drowning incidents and freak accidents that could have been avoided.
Safety in numbers
The festive period is one of the highest for missing children in the country. It is important to consider going out in groups during the festive period. Ensure that the people accompanying you are trustworthy and where possible ensure that members of your family are included in the groups to watch over children. The addage, “never trust anyone with your child” comes to mind. But it is the holidays and some parents are working throughout this period and may not be left with any other choice.
Teach them young
Children should be taught “STRANGER DANGER” from a young age. They should never accept any sweets offered nor venture to follow a stranger anywhere, this goes for family as well. It is distressing to note that in a majority of child abduction cases the perpetrator is someone who is known to the family so be extremely pedantic about who you trust around your children. Encourage your child to let you know when someone has inappropriately touched them. From as young as three years, this should be the golden rule with children, boys and girls. No exceptions.
It isn’t Summer unless there’s water fun on the agenda. With 2 000 fatal drownings in South Africa a year, this does however dampen the mood. Most fatal drowning incidents occur in backyard pools and the beach, that’s why learning water-safety and being aware of drowning dangers is so important.
What is the festive season known for? Reckless drivers who are under the influence of alcohol! It’s the most perilous time of the year for travellers, with road carnage spiking to all time highs over the past few years. Last year alone 845 people died on the country’s roads, a 17% increase during the same period the year before.
On closer inspection of the figures, a lack of inter-personal respect among motorists is the contributing factor. Speed, reckless driving, being under the influence of alcohol and other intoxicating substances, driver attitude, fatigue and unsafe motor vehicles were amongst some of the reasons for the fatal crashes.
Some safety driving tips for the holidays include:
- Planning your route
- Sleep well the night before you travel
- Stop and rest
- Have more than one licensed, designated driver (where possible)
- Don’t rush
- Drink lots of water
- Open your windows
- Obey the rules of the road
- Stick to the speed limit
- Wear seatbelts
- Don’t drink & drive
- Don’t be distracted – put your cellphones down
The holidays always bring with it feelings of excitement and so it should, but it can also be a really bleak time when an accident occurs and you lose a loved one. Sheer negligence doesn’t have to ruin your holidays as you #ReclaimSummer. Just make sure safety is not overlooked and you can enjoy this much deserved break with your family.