Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Know Your Limits and Practice Safety First When Ringing in the New Year

As December comes to an end, everyone gets increasingly more excited to ring in the New Year. Perfect party dresses and festive decorations will be bought for this special occasion. And while it is a wonderful time to celebrate, it is also a time to remember how dangerous drinking too much alcohol can be to the body.

Some will suffer adverse consequences that range from falls to traffic crashes to poisonings. Sadly, we often put ourselves and others at risk because we don't understand how alcohol affects us during an evening of celebratory drinking.

What are signs of alcohol poisoning?
  • Mental confusion
  • Unresponsive
  • Seizures / Stupor
  • Throwing up
  • Hypothermia - low body temp, cold / clammy skin
  • Erratic or slow breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Pale or bluish skin color
By practicing safety first (and refraining from drinking in excess), you can eliminate many of these fears. What can you do to stay safe and help others?

  • Know the danger signals.
  • Do not wait for all symptoms.
  • Be aware that a person who has passed out may die.
  • Call 911 and stay with the person.
In 2011, the Texas Legislature passed a law called the 911 Lifeline Law. That law says a person under 21 won't be charged by the police for possessing or consuming alcohol if the person calls 911 because someone might have alcohol poisoning.

This limited immunity applies only to the first person to call for medical assistance, only if the caller remains on the scene until medical assistance arrives and cooperates with EMS and law enforcement. This law was intended to encourage young people to do the right thing and save a life. For more information please visit here.

Remember that mistakes happen and you should never be afraid to call 9-1-1 for help! And if you are not sure if someone has been poisoned, please do not hesitate to contact the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222. There are nurses and pharmacists available 24/7 to help you with your poison needs. We hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year!

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