A week away from Christmas, the message from the Police on the front page of the newspaper you are reading about the need for everyone to think safety first is timely.
With the nation in generally a happy mood, there is no room for complacency when it comes to safety because disasters and tragedies often strike without warning.
So the more prepared we are the better.
The fact is, as we keep reminding at this time of the year, there are dangers lurking around the corner. Whether we are at home, on the road, enjoying the pristine beaches, waterfalls, forests of Samoa, we can never be too careful.
We say this because over the years, it is at times like this when we become extremely vulnerable. We want to avoid that this year.
We are talking about basic safety matters we must consider to ensure Christmas and New Years is truly a happy experience for everyone.
We’re referring to children getting lost amidst busy streets and busy shops as members of the public make their final dash for last minute Christmas shopping.
We’re talking about parties turning disastrous with too much alcohol, children drowning when they are left on their own and so forth.
Ladies and gentlemen, these incidents are very common in days like today when the country is buzzing with the Christmas spirit.
The point is we must ensure our loved ones are taken care of first and foremost.
We don’t want this Christmas to be a sad occasion.
Which means we need to do a better job looking after our loved ones – including the young ones – whether it is holding their hands in public places or supervising them wherever you may be.
Keep in mind that there are some wicked people out there amidst this busyness, who will look to take advantage of the situation.
Though most people are full of the holiday spirit and good will this time of year, criminals look for the opportunity to take advantage.
We’re talking about sex predators who will be preying on young girls – and sometimes boys – who look vulnerable anywhere and everywhere.
So please make sure you know where your children are and if you are at a public place, it pays to always hold their hand and keep an eye out for them.
This is also a time where many of us like to take a trip to the beach or other places where swimming is likely to be involved.
We’ve seen instances where some parents get on the ‘juice’ while leaving the kids to their own devices at the pool or the sea. This is a recipe for disaster and we’ve seen tragedy strike as a result.
Children should never be in the water by themselves. Anything can happen and quickly too. Tears and regrets will not bring them back. A little care and a plan can go a long way to ensure a safe and merry celebration for all.
It might involve mum or dad sacrificing a few drinks to hang out and supervise the children. It could even mean getting an adult you trust to do that while you enjoy yourself.
Safety of course is not confined to looking after children. Because this is a time where the car will become especially useful, drivers must always ensure the car is safe to be on the road.
And don’t forget to look after your home when you make plans to go away.
Thieves and burglars are looking for ways to break in while you are away and distracted.
Ensure all the power plugs are switched off and ask someone you trust to look out for your home while you’re away.
At those end of year work Christmas gatherings, look after your work colleagues. If you know they have had enough to drink, put them in a taxi and send them home.
Don’t allow them to make a fool of themselves in public – let alone risk their lives and that of others because of stupidity.
This week, the general feel around Samoa is festive and positive. We want it to stay that way. So please read the message from the Police and do your part. Think about safety and think about how you can protect yourself, the people you love and others around you.
Have a safe week Samoa, God bless!