Taking care of our loved ones in this festive season

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 20 December 2016, 12:00AM

It’s an exciting time of the year. There is absolutely no denying that. And as the countdown towards Christmas continues, the buzz is only going to get better and bigger. 

But there are dangers lurking around the corner we have to be aware of. 

We are talking about basic safety matters we must consider to ensure Christmas is truly a happy experience for everyone. In happy times like these, we’ve seen over the years how it can easily turn into a tragedy. 

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. 

Indeed, we know that Christmas time is a crazy period – especially a few days out from the event – where there are a gazillion things to do. What with presents to buy, meals to plan and family and friends to entertain, there is hardly enough time.

But this madness has cost some of us dearly over the years. It is at times like this when we become extremely vulnerable to tragedies of all sorts. We want to avoid that this year.

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. I’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 make sure you look after yourself and the ones closest to you.  Take care Samoa and God bless!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 20 December 2016, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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