It's holiday season. Stay safe clients and friends.
Christmas has just passed and we've had time to sit back and enjoy family, friends, getting free and festive celebrations. It's a great time of year and we've even been blessed with customarily good weather! No major downpours and things are shaping up for that mandatory trip over to The Coromandel.
With that in mind, we feel it's always a good idea to do a bit of a safety checklist. We've lounged around a little of late and read the papers and listened to the news.A few of the sadder stories are coming to light.
So... here at Slater Chartered Accountants we think It's a good idea to head into the January holiday phase with a few simple precautions in place. Nothing too doom and gloom...just a little reminder to do a few things to keep us all safe and sticking around for customary family and friend celebrations at the close of 2017.
So here's the Slater Holiday Safety Checklist:
- Don't drink and drive. A big NO NO. It doesn't matter if the journey is local around Hamilton and The Waikato, or further afield on The Coromandel or Auckland, Whangerai or The Bay of Islands. Just don't do it. Choose a designated driver and enjoy safe fun.
- Is your vehicle roadworthy? Are the tyres worn down? Is there a spare in good condition? How are your car tools? Make sure all these are up to date and in good condition BEFORE you take the family out for a run.
- If you borrow someone else's vehicle, check they have serviced their spare tyre recently and know the condition of car tools and tyres etc.
- How are the seat belts and air bags in your vehicle? it never hurts to check and if any belts are stuck or not working, give them a quick spray with WD-40 to loosen them.
- Christmas lights. There's a lot of cheap Christmas lights on the market these days. Make sure they are working well and if you are unsure, don't leave them on overnight or when you go out.
- Teens and Alcohol. Take the time to talk about alcohol rules with your teens. The rules vary from family to family. Be informed about the impact of alcohol and drugs on the developing teen brain. (A great source of information on this is The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults, by Dr. Frances E. Jensen. It's a fascinating read and mine of great information. Be fully informed and make your decisions with a full understanding of ALL the facts.
- Curfews and Kids. Late is great in holidays but make sure you know what your kids are doing and where they are going. Again, a bit of healthy discussion around this doesn't go astray. Tired kids and teens are problem kids and teens. Factor that in when making plans and trips.
- Emotional Health and Extended Family. Family divisions and tensions are sometimes the underbelly of festive spirit. Be prepared. If you need to take time out, do so. Boding and affection and celebration with loved ones is important. Look after each other...and yourself. If you need down time, factor that in and go for a walk or drive if tensions arise.
- Pets. We've seen a spate of dognaps in the past year. Make sure your pets are secured and in a fenced area when you go out. Let your neighbours know if you are away for the evening or night. Better still, book them into reputable kennels or cattery. Better to be safe than sorry. And don't feed your dogs chocolate.
- Pool safety. Sadly, drownings are one of the quietest ways a child can die. People often assume there is shouting and loud splashing when a child is drowning but nothing could be further from the truth. It's silent, it's sinister and it's heartbreaking. If you own a pool or you are near water, make sure there is ALWAYS someone overseeing the kids. That someone needs to be alert and alcohol-free.
Holidays are, ultimately, a time of joy and relaxation. Keep safe, have fun and enjoy the moment with family and friends. Take safe risks, be prepared and cover the basics.
Have a goodie and we'll see you in at the office in 2017.
Millie Slater is Media and Marketing Manager Slater Chartered Accountants. Copyright 2017 Slater Chartered Accountants Hamilton NZ.