Simple safety practices reduce home, holiday injuries

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gen. Andrew M. Mueller
  • Air Force Chief of Safety
As we enjoy a holiday season of celebrations and travel, I hope every Airman will take some time to reflect on the accomplishments of the year, and take the opportunity to make some lasting memories with your families and friends.

As you plan holiday activities, keep in mind that the excitement and distractions of the season increase the risk of injury for you and your families. You can eliminate most of those risks and injuries by simply transferring the same sound safety practices used on duty to all your off-duty activities.

Here are three easy ways to incorporate safety in your family:

1. Put down the phone: Texting and driving kills every day – so just don’t do it. Even glancing down for a moment takes your eyes off the road and your attention away from driving. Stay focused on driving, not distracted while driving.

2. Say something: When we see family members make poor choices -- like not wearing a helmet, becoming distracted while driving, or speeding -- what do we say? I know many survivors of accidents who would give anything to have a second chance to speak up and prevent their accident. Don’t wait for second chances.

3. Plan ahead: Too often we rationalize our behavior by saying it’s OK because we’re running late, it’s only a quick text, it’s only one little drink, it’s not that far to jump. Plan ahead and avoid those rationalizations. And when the situation changes, be prepared to adjust your plan. Take time to act smartly. Don’t react hastily and accept unnecessary risk or take unnecessary chances with your health and safety.

Thank you for what you do in keeping your family safe and healthy. It takes healthy families to ensure we have resilient Airmen ready to fly, fight and win!
Make safety a habit in your family; make safety a habit for life!