As everyone heads off for the summer holidays, St John is working hard to make sure New Zealanders stay safe and well this festive season.

Last year St John responded to over 1,000 emergency incidents on Christmas Day with the most common being breathing problems, chest pain and assaults.

St John Director of Operations Norma Lane says Christmas can be a stressful time for some people, especially if they are on their own or finances are an issue. Physical and mental health problems can increase over this time and it’s important to check on those who may be alone or vulnerable. 

“See your doctor before going on holiday if you have ongoing medical conditions and remember to get your prescription medicine supplies. Be prepared with a first aid kit and make sure you call 111 in an emergency.” 

“Christmas is an extremely busy time for emergency services. Paramedics will respond as soon as possible to life-threatening and serious incidents, but if your condition is not urgent there may be a delay in getting an ambulance to you and we ask for your patience.” 

St John wants everyone to have a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas and has some useful information for keeping safe: 

  • Know the address of where you are staying so emergency services can find you quickly. 
  • Drink sensibly, drink equal amounts of water, have a sober driver and know your limits. 
  • Be sun smart. Slip, slop, slap and wrap. 
  • Be safe on the roads, watch your speed, be courteous to other drivers and drive responsibly. 
  • Keep children away from the barbeque. 
  • Keep batteries and small parts from Christmas gifts away from children to avoid swallowing, as the battery can become lodged in the oesophagus with dangerous results. 
  • Keep safe around water, wear life jackets when boating and supervise children at the beach or swimming pool.
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