ER doctor talks New Year's dangers

2016 has been a rough year.  You're going to want to ring in 2017 in one piece. You don't want to end up at the emergency room.

Dr. Ross Tobleman is the emergency department medical director with Baylor Scott and White in Round Rock. He says Christmas Day is usually pretty quiet but New Year's is a different story.
"If you're not mindful and you don't make safe choices then you'll probably come and see me on New Year's Eve or New Year's day," he said.

Tobleman says alcohol is a big problem. Obviously drinking and driving -- but that's not all.

"From drinking too much alcohol and getting sick from alcohol...the famous last words are you know 'Hold my beer and watch this.'  People will drink and become intoxicated and do things that they probably shouldn't," Tobleman said.

Tobleman says before you go out, make sure you've had a well-balanced meal with proteins and carbs.  Avoid greasy food. And New Year's day hangovers are usually because of dehydration, so keep that in mind.

"Try to limit yourself to one drink an hour.  And in that hour you should also have one glass of water so for every drink of alcohol you take you should drink one glass of water to prevent dehydrated," he said.

It's not that hard to figure out fireworks can be hazardous to your health if they're not handled with care.  But sparklers are too.  Tobleman says you really shouldn't give them to children.

"People think that sparklers are a great thing to give to their kids because they don't really shoot off, they don't explode, they just light up...well unfortunately those sparklers can get very, very hot and we see a lot of burns especially in children associated with those sparklers," Tobleman said.

You can't have New Year's without a cheap bottle of champagne. But you've got to open it safely. That includes chilling it in the fridge first and then holding it at a 45 degree angle away from you or anyone else.

"The worst injury I've ever seen with a champagne cork is an open-globe injury where they got hit directly in the eye and actually broke the eye to where the fluid that's inside your eye is draining you can actually lose your eye related to a champagne cork going directly into your eye," Tobleman said.

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