The holiday season one of the most exciting times of the year. However, we would be remiss if we did not touch on holiday safety as it is an issue that burns brightest from late November through mid-January, when families gather, parties are scheduled and travel spikes. To help mitigate some of the issues that are most common during this time, NAS Lemoore and its tenant commands have hosted safety stand-downs to help keep you informed and reinforce holiday safety, keeping you and your families safe and injury-free throughout the season.
According to the National Safety Council, more than 146,000 people died from unintentional injury-related deaths in 2015. Nearly 700 Americans will lose their lives from holiday driving. These tragedies can happen when least expected – during a holiday vacation while doing chores at home or while driving. All of these are tragic and they are all preventable.
Safety plays an important role while celebrating the holidays. With the increase of stress during this time, taking care of physical and mental health is important. It is also important to stay financially fit. Listed below are some of the key issues of holiday safety, as well as resources and safety guidance on how to stay in tip-top shape, in all aspects.
Travel – Many people travel for the holidays. Whether is a short trip to the neighbor’s holiday party or a cross-country trek to see family, most families are on the road during the holidays. Are you and your family planning to drive to a holiday get-together this year? AAA has simple tips to help make your drive a smooth one. http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/holiday-road-trip-travel-tips/#.WhM2zFtSx7g.
Cooking – From baking Christmas cookies to frying turkeys, cooking plays a big part of the holidays. It is also the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires. Make sure your smoke detectors are working and your fire extinguisher is operating normally and not out-of-date. Nobody plans on a house fire, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared. http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire/Cooking/Safety-messages-about-cooking.
Turkey Fryer – Speaking of frying turkeys, according to the National Fire Protection Association, every year deep-fryer fires are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes and more than $15-million in property damage. Check out this video Turkey Fryer Fire Demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETBD0EqQGoU.
Drinking & Driving - Thanksgiving is the deadliest four-day holiday weekend on American roads. New Year’s Eve is equally as dangerous. This year, when faced with the decision of drinking and driving, be thankful for friends, family and your Navy career. Don’t drink and drive, and be aware of other drivers on the road that may be impaired.
Physically Fit - Holiday safety also means staying mentally and physically fit. There are lots of parties, usually with lots of holiday treats. Don’t let the hectic holiday schedule and party foods derail your health, nutrition and fitness goals. Stay committed to a healthier and happier holiday season. On average, Americans gain approximately one to two pounds during the holidays. With a little preplanning, you can enjoy the holidays while avoiding the weight gain. http://www.militaryonesource.mil/-/how-to-be-healthy-through-the-holidays?inheritRedirect=true.
Behavioral Health - When stress is at its peak, it's hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past. https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/Documents/LGuide/op_stress.aspx.
Financially Fit - Join those savers who have successfully opted to reduce holiday spending and prioritize savings throughout the season. To learn more visit MilitarySaves.org or https://militarysaves.org/organizations/partner-resource-packets/holiday-spending-saving.
Responsible Alcohol Use During the Holidays - More than half of holiday traffic fatalities involve drinking and driving. There are many safe ride programs that offer free, safe rides home on New Years. Add their phone digits to your contacts list. Remember, irresponsible drinking not only threatens your health and career, it threatens the Navy’s ability to be mission-ready. It’s smart to limit the number of alcoholic beverages you consume. They contain empty calories and make it harder for you to avoid temptation. If you do drink, consume two glasses of water for every serving of alcohol. https://www.aceable.com/blog/5-free-rides-for-new-years-eve/.
New Year’s Resolutions – When it comes to setting goals for the New Year, losing weight is the top resolution for Americans. It’s easy to start an exercise and diet program, but the trick is to stick to in. For those serving in the U.S. Navy, staying fit is more than just fitting into your favorite pair of jeans. It’s a requirement. If you don’t meet the Navy’s physical fitness standards, you will be ineligible for advancement or volunteer assignments. Make a New Year’s resolution to stay in shape and get promoted. Stay active. Some people just sit around the most of the time at home and at work, that can have a negative effect on posture and health. Find ways of moving around more throughout the day.
The holidays are truly a joyous time of the year! Stay safe, take some well-deserved time off to be with the ones you care about most and celebrate.
All my best,
Captain David James,
Commanding Officer, NAS Lemoore