Stay safe this party season

As the festive party season gets underway, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Director of Public Health, Dr Emilia Crighton, is urging people to stay safe.

Christmas and New Year is a time to celebrate with family, friends and relatives, but the celebrations can also see people drinking more than usual.

Emilia is stressing the importance of people looking after themselves when they are out with family and friends.

She said: “This is the time of year when many people are out celebrating; however I would ask people to think about their safety, and their health, as they go out.

“It should be a happy and enjoyable time but it can also be a time when you can put yourself at risk of serious harm by drinking too much and not paying attention to your and your friends’ safety.

“Alcohol and the cold can be a dangerous combination. Contrary to popular belief going out into the fresh air does not sober you up and alcohol doesn’t ‘heat you up’ when you are cold.

“When you drink alcohol your face may get flushed and your skin feels warmer, but your body actually quickly loses heat as the blood is rushing to the skin. Your body temperature may fall without you actually realising it, bringing an increased danger of hypothermia.

“I would appeal to friends to look out for one another to ensure that everyone not only enjoys their evening but also gets home safely. Go out and have fun this festive season but make it an evening to remember and not one to forget.”

Emilia is urging people to keep safe by staying with the group they are celebrating with, and looking after any friends who may have had too much to drink.

She said: “Be aware of your own alcohol intake and look out for your friends as well and make sure everyone gets home safely.

“Don’t leave your drink unattended in case someone tries to spike it, and don’t accept drinks from strangers.

“Be sure to have a meal before or during a night out as food slows down the absorption of alcohol and consider alternating between alcoholic and soft drinks. Also put aside money for a taxi home or make sure you have transport pre-arranged.

“All these steps will hopefully result in a healthy and happy start to 2016.”