Christmas will soon be upon us as we prepare for the festive season. How far have you got with your Christmas to-do list? Are your presents ordered and wrapped? Is the Christmas tree decorated and cards sent? As the cold weather sets in and you leave for work in ear muffs, gloves and scarf, are you ready for the unexpected demands this time of year brings?
Not to put a dampener on your excitement, but did you know that Christmas is one of the most dangerous times of the year with holiday hazards in abundance. Take a look at our seasonal suggestions for a happy, risk reduced holiday.
Get Festively Physical this Christmas
We love to over indulge in all the delicious delights from one too many mince pies and just a little more Stilton and crackers. Enjoy…but why not increase your physical activity to justify your guilty calorific pleasures? Also relieve any stress and lethargy by a few more winter walks, cycling or even ice-skating which will release endorphins, help you to relax and boost your holiday spirits. As part of your new year resolutions try out the NHS app from Couch to 5K app which is a great tool if you are out of shape and need a flexible solution.
Control your Christmas Cocktails’ Consumption
We all enjoy a Christmas drink or cocktail or two. Just be aware of how much you drink over the holiday season particularly if you are driving. Drink driving increases at this time of year and can be responsible for many horrific outcomes.
Remember a few sobering tips. The legal limit for driving is 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. It is recommended that:
Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day.
- Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day.
- Avoid alcohol for 48 hours if you’ve had a lot more than your usual intake of alcoholic drinks.
- Alcohol can also make you feel overconfident which may result in you taking more risks potentially, creating dangerous situations when driving.
- If you’ve spent the evening drinking and you plan to drive the next day, it’s advised to allow at least 12 hours for the alcohol to leave your system.
- Take control of your alcohol units’ consumption with the NHS’ alcohol tracker app by keeping a personal drinks diary. The alcohol tracker will calculate alcohol units and provide feedback on your drinking over a period of time. Download the alcohol tracker app.
We all know what a hangover feels like with sickness, severe headaches, dizziness and of course, dehydration but unfortunately there are no cures for a hangover so forget the old wives’ tales, drink within the recommended limits. However to avoid a hangover consider the following hangover avoidance tips, obvious maybe but can make a worthwhile difference on the following day:
- Eat a meal that includes carbohydrates such as rice or pasta before you go out. This will help slow down the body’s absorption of alcohol.
- Drink water or non-fizzy soft drinks in between each alcoholic drink. Carbonated drinks speed up the absorption of alcohol into your system.
- Drink a pint or so of water before you go to sleep and take a glass of water to bed.
- If you’re sensitive to dark-coloured drinks then avoid them. They contain natural chemicals called congeners (impurities), which irritate blood vessels and tissue in the brain and can make a hangover much worse.
Safe Driving in winter
Breakdowns double during the winter months in the dangerous icy conditions. Give yourself more time to prepare your car for the journey ahead. Plan your route carefully using the better maintained major roads. Ensure you use only gentle manoeuvres and leave up to 10 times longer stopping distances in icy and snowy conditions. When pulling away use second gear to avoid wheel spin, use brakes gently to avoid skidding. Always check the weather before your journey
P.O.W.D.E.R: Checks on your Car
Check the following elements of your car before your journey regularly and before any long drive, especially when travelling in adverse winter driving conditions using this useful mnemonic: P.O.W.D.E.R which stands for Petrol, Oil, Water, Damage, Electrics:
Petrol: ensure that the vehicle has plenty of fuel.
Oil: check levels in the engine oil, brake fluid, clutch and power steering.
Water: check levels of the windscreen washer bottles empty quickly when cleaning salt spray off your windscreen.
Damage: check for damage (windscreen, mirrors, headlamps, indicator, fog and brake light lenses), and get what needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Electrics: check all lights function, carry spare bulbs and replace bulbs if required.
Rubber: check all your tyres including your spare for the 3mm of tread and pressure at least every fortnight. Check your windscreen wiper blades and keep the screen clean inside and out. Stop doors freezing shut with a thin coat of polish or Vaseline on rubber door seals. A squirt of WD-40 in locks will help stop them freezing.
For more advice on safe winter driving visit the AA website
Astutis wishes you a safe and enjoyable winter holiday.