Safely celebrating the new year


It is New Year's Eve and a lot of people will welcome 2020 with a party. But doctors warn, if you're not careful that celebration can take a dangerous turn.

Tom Waters, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic says something as simple as popping the cork of a champagne bottle could result in an eye injury if you're not careful.

"Avoid jostling the bottle before opening it," he said. "Hold it at a 45 degree angle, away from your face, and make sure you don't point it at anyone else's face. Those corks can come out at pretty high speeds – fast enough to shatter glass – so it could obviously harm your eyes or anything else that it hits."

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Driving while under the influence is also a threat. The Ohio Department of Transportation says there have been 266 alcohol-related traffic deaths in 2019. More than 13,000 impaired driving-related crashes occurred on Ohio's roads in 2018, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

More impaired driving-related crashes happened in December than during any other month, with about 1,160 impaired driving-related crashes during that month alone. NHTSA reports alcohol contributed to 28% of Ohio's fatal crashes in 2018.

Dr. Waters said drinking too much alcohol during cold weather can actually put people at a higher risk for suffering a cold-related complication.

"Drinking alcohol puts you at risk for dehydration, because it's a diuretic," he said. "If you're going to be out in the cold celebrating on New Year's Eve, remember dehydration is also a risk factor for suffering a cold injury, such as frostbite or hypothermia. So, you want to make sure that along with the alcoholic drinks you're drinking, that you're also staying hydrated with plenty of water."