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The injurious cost of a festive drink

The festive season brings with it countless opportunities for seasonal parties, catch ups, sundowners and picnics, with bottomless bar tabs and drinks to celebrate the dwindling calendar. But avoiding alcohol over the silly season can help you to avoid injury.

Alcohol usage is a major risk factor for all kinds of injuries including falls, road trauma, drowning and violence. Even if you believe yourself to be drinking at safe levels, any level of alcohol affects your reaction time, reasoning, coordination, care and judgement – all increasing the risk of injury.

Falls

Drinking alcohol affects your movement, balance, and risk-taking behaviour, leaving you at higher risk of a slip, trip or fall. Hosting festive parties and having time off at the end of the year can result in a list of to-do’s around the house. If you are doing some DIY’s be sure to stay safe and avoid a fall.

Avoid a ladder Injury

Avoid injury by taking the time to check the ladder is in good condition, is the right height for the job, and is set up correctly on firm, clear ground. Once on the ladder, make sure to work within arm’s reach, and maintain three points of contact with the ladder.

Avoid a Fall

  • Try not to drink while completing DIY projects, especially if they involve ladders or power tools.
  • Choose low or no alcohol alternatives.
  • Have a few alcohol-free days each week.

Road Trauma

Holidays means more traffic on our roads, which means every road user needs to stay alert and safe. However, it’s easy to underestimate how much you will or have had to drink, meaning you’re at risk of drink driving. The safest option when having anything to drink is to not drive.

Avoid a Crash

  • Even if it’s just a short drive, try a taxi, rideshare, or public transport.
  • Limit and count your drinks.
  • Choose alcohol-free alternatives and alternate between alcoholic beverages.
  • Stay hydrated and make sure to eat before an event.

Visit the Road Safety Commission to find out more.

Drowning

Aussies love water – from the beach, to backyard pools, to dams, we love a swim in the summer. But combining alcohol and a dip can be very dangerous.

Alcohol affects our judgement, coordination and motor skills, and thus our ability to safely navigate water. Even the strongest swimmers can find themselves in dangerous situations after a few drinks. Put simply, this summer – don’t swig and swim. Visit Royal Life Saving WA for more info.

Violence

The festive season can bring families together, but sometimes it can just spark arguments – which can be amplified by seasonal drinks around the dinner table.

When you’re under the influence of alcohol, your self-control, impulsivity, and reasoning are all compromised. Your ability to resolve conflicts or annoyances in a non-violent manner is impacted and may lead to avoidable injuries caused by bursts of aggression or domestic violence.

In WA from 2000 to 2008 alcohol contributed to 45.3% of hospitalisations due to interpersonal violence. If you’re worried about yourself or your loved ones this season, reach out to 1800RESPECT.

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