By Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
With the holiday and winter season just around the corner, Team Schriever members are reminded of the various safety issues that usually come during this time of the year.
The holiday and winter safety theme for this year is “Safe-n-Sound, All Year Round” and the campaign runs from Friday through Jan. 2. It is designed to remind personnel to take time to include sound risk management in all their plans, whether traveling, celebrating or participating in winter activities.
“While the Air Force was fortunate to have no fatalities during fiscal 2010 and 2011 between Christmas and New Year, last year there were six,” said Tech. Sgt. Sarah Law, 50th Space Wing ground safety manager. “Four were between Thanksgiving and Christmas and two between Christmas and New Year. Five of those six were traffic-related. Since we all rush to get home for the holidays, this is the time for extra vigilance on the roads and extra attention to trip planning and preparation.”
This season, the campaign will focus on seven topics including travel planning, winter road conditions, holiday decorating, party season, other seasonal fire hazards, indoor and outdoor winter sports and don’t overdo, which includes drinking and activities.
According to the holiday safety message sent by the Air Force’s senior leadership, “All Airmen, uniformed and civilian, have a responsibility to ensure a safe holiday for themselves, their fellow Airmen, their wingmen and their families by being alert to safety risks on and off duty. We urge you to use common sense and keep your focus on risk management as we strive to enjoy a mishap-free season.”
“Of course, the goal this year is for zero fatalities,” Law said. “Another goal is to take what we learn this winter and apply it all the time; hence this year’s theme, ‘Safe-n-Sound, All Year Round.’”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are various ways to ensure safety during the holiday season:
1. Wash hands often to keep from spreading germs and getting sick. Wash hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
2. Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: layers of light, warm clothing, mittens, hats, scarves and waterproof boots.
3. Manage stress. Don’t over-commit yourself and prevent holiday anxiety and pressure. Get enough sleep.
4. Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger.
5. Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. There is no safe amount of tobacco or secondhand smoke. Breathing even a little secondhand smoke can be dangerous.
6. Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt according to his or her height, weight and age. Use a seat belt on every trip, no matter how short the trip.
7. Get exams and screenings. Ask what exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history.
8. Get your vaccinations, which help prevent diseases and save lives.
9. Monitor the children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items and other objects out of kids’ reach. Dress warmly for outdoor activities. Develop and reinforce rules about acceptable and safe behaviors including electronic media.
10. Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so be careful to never leave fireplaces, space heaters, stoves or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly. Keep safety in mind when decorating your home.
11. Prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate promptly.
12. Eat healthy and get moving. Eat fruits and vegetables. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat and sugar. Be active for at least two and a half hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least one hour a day.
For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/.