Safety first during the school holidays
The second last school holiday of the year started today. You may be planning to relax with your family at home, go away on a holiday or even just spend a few days out at local attractions.
Whatever your intentions, ER24 is urging everyone to ensure their safety.
Every occupant of a vehicle must be wearing a seatbelt. Be a responsible driver and ensure that all of your passengers’ seatbelts are fastened before you start off in your vehicle.
Every child by law must be strapped into the appropriate car seat in a moving vehicle. Do not drive with children on laps or allow them to move about freely in the vehicle while it is in motion.
Keep restless children happy during your journey by providing them with toys, books to read or games to play.
Make sure that you make use of your headlights while you are travelling even during daylight hours. This will ensure that other motorists will be able to see your vehicle from a longer distance away.
It is essential to take regular rest stops while you are travelling either every two hours of driving or for every 200 kilometres travelled. Get out of your vehicle, stretch your legs and get some fresh air. For children, it is also essential to let them get out of the vehicle and move about at rest stops.
Do not make use of your cell phone while driving. Ensure you have a hands-free kit or a passenger that can take your calls if need be. Do not text and drive, under no circumstances – no matter how quick you think you will be.
Keep water at hand in the car while you are travelling; keeping well hydrated with water is an essential part of the journey for you and your passengers.
Do not forget to have your chronic prescriptions filled before you go on holiday; take your medication with you and remember to take it at the right intervals. Carry a spare prescription in case you need to go to the doctor. Also have prescriptions made out before your local doctor may go on leave.
Every child needs to be supervised around any body of water whether the child can swim or not. Make sure that young children are not alone while swimming in the pool, in the sea, rivers or dams.
Do not drink alcohol and drive a vehicle no matter how short the distance may be; alcohol impairs your reaction time and may prevent you from avoiding a collision.
Your vehicle manufacturer should be able to assist you with a complete check of your vehicle for safety purposes before you intend on travelling. Go to your nearest dealer and have your vehicle thoroughly checked before travelling long distances.
Do not leave children, the elderly or any pets in a parked car for extended periods of time. Temperatures can reach above 45 degrees inside the vehicle, which leads to dehydration of the body, and in some cases coma and death.
Makes sure that young children are in the care of an appropriate caregiver while they are at home while on school holidays.
Remember to stay out of the sun between the hours of 11am and 3pm and always wear some form of sun protection and ensure that the sun protection lotion is applied at regular intervals.
If you come across an accident, unless you are medically qualified or know first aid, it is not necessary for you to stop, but call for the assistance of ER24 on 084124, immediately providing as much detail of the incident as possible including accurate location and landmarks.
Whether you are staying at home or will be out of town during the school holiday, familiarise yourself with the emergency numbers in your area. There are different numbers to dial for requesting different essential services. In case of a medical emergency, you can dial 084124 anywhere in South Africa.