2020 is almost upon us, and we want to make sure everyone rings in the new year right by staying safe on the last day of the decade. Known for its wild parties and increased alcohol usage, New Year’s Eve presents numerous dangers to you and your loved ones. In an effort to help everyone make it to 2020 without harm, we came up with a few vital New Year’s Eve safety tips to keep in mind while celebrating this holiday. Whether you’re hosting a party or going out, everyone deserves to enjoy this night in good health.

Don’t Drink and Drive

Drink & Driving | VEC

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating because it’s among the most important New Year’s Eve safety tips. Drinking and driving is not only dangerous to you—it’s harmful to the health and safety of others as well. New Year’s Eve is notorious for having a higher rate of accidents due to intoxicated drivers on the road. If you plan on drinking, having a designated driver is a must. Also, with services like Uber and Lyft, getting home safely is easier than ever. If you plan to drive (sober of course), it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and to keep an eye on the road at all times.

Make Sure to Eat Dinner

New Year's Eve Dinner | VEC

Eating food before ingesting alcohol can greatly lower your risk for alcohol poisoning and allow the drinks to affect you at a safer rate. Before going out to celebrate for the evening, make sure to have a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water. Drinking on an empty stomach can lead to fatal alcohol poisoning and reckless behavior. To encourage responsible drinking, we highly recommend having a delicious meal before the festivities begin.

Keep an Eye Out for Fireworks

Fireworks/Sparklers | VEC

When most people think of fireworks, their minds may go to the 4th of July, but New Year’s Eve is also known for its celebratory displays. However, many of the fireworks are used by intoxicated individuals who may put others at risk. And, in many cases, they’re illegal to use in certain states or areas. The fireworks may also be outdated and leftovers from the 4th of July. Either way, we encourage everyone to be on the lookout for people using these dangerous items.

Make a Plan for Your Kids

Teens | VEC

Grownups aren’t the only ones enjoying the holidays. If your children are old enough to drive, make sure to establish a reasonable curfew long before midnight occurs. The longer they stay out, the more likely they’ll be in harm’s way or even partake in underage drinking. If necessary, consider having them check in with you regularly throughout the night to make sure they’re enjoying the holiday safe and sober. The last thing any parent wants is a late-night call from the hospital. It’s your job to establish rules and guidelines for their safety.

No matter where the new year takes you, trust the experts at Village Emergency Centers to provide urgent medical care when you need it most. Open 24/7, our board-certified physicians and registered nurses have the experience and compassion you and your family deserve. If you experience an emergency on New Year’s Eve, do not hesitate to visit one of our four convenient locations throughout the Houston area. Our doors are always open and with no wait time, there is no better choice for you or your loved one’s health. Visit us online to find a location near you or learn about what makes Village Emergency Centers different from hospital ERs.