Winter is here, and time to look after your and your friends’ safety in the colder months. Read on for top tips to stay safe this winter from keeping warm to boosting your mood during the darker months
Staying safe this winter:
Now that the winter weather has arrived it's important that you know to keep yourself and your friends safe. Here are some Oxme top tips on staying safe this winter:
- Wrap up warm
- Let somebody know where you're going and when you'll be back
- Carry your mobile
- If you're outside when it's dark - make sure you can easily be seen by others
- Avoid risky areas
- If there's been heavy rainfall - take extra care when walking near water, or through puddles!
Crucial: If you or someone you are with is in immediate danger, call 999.
Be aware of floods!
During winter there may be floods in Oxfordshire, which can act as an inconvenience, cause damage and lead to danger:
- Unexpected floods or currents can knock you off your feet or bicycle.
- Floods hide the edges of waterways, so you can accidentally enter deep water or stray off paths.
- Flood water is dirty and murky, covering obstacles and dangers like storm drains.
Crucial: Follow all signs and warnings and never enter flooded areas.
Take care of your mental wellbeing:
The winter can be great fun, with time off from school and college, time to catch up with friends and Christmas celebrations - but for some, this can become too much. If you find yourself struggling this winter, there are things that you can do to help yourself:
- Try talking to somebody, this could be a friend, family member, trusted adult or professional
- Find the best way that works for you to be active
- Find a way to learn – this keeps your mind active and moving forward
- Even days when you don't have much to give, small things, such as a smile can improve your wellbeing
- Find the way that works for you to take a break, take care of yourself and build your wellbeing.
If you're drinking alcohol, it's important that you know to keep you, your family and your friends safe and healthy:
- If you're been drinking, you must not drive (this is illegal)
- Do not take risks, alcohol can make you clumsy and careless - which can lead to accidents.
- Look out for your friends and family - when people have been drinking, people take silly risks
- If you're out with your friends, make sure you stick together and look out for each other.
- Avoid Alcohol Poisoning - drinking too much alcohol can make you unwell.
Crucial: Young people are most at risk from accidental alcohol poisoning from drinking too much. Know what you should do in an emergency.
If you're sexually active, it's really important that you know how to keep you and your partner safe, reduce the chances of getting an STI or becoming pregnant.
There are lots of different types of contraception available and they're all free on the NHS. Your GP and School Health Nurse can offer confidential expert advice. If you had sex without using contraception, or your contraception has failed, there is a pill you can take - but this should be taken as soon as possible.
The safety C-Card is a way of getting free condoms and sexual health advice for all young people in Oxfordshire, aged 25 or under.
Remember: You only have to have unprotected sex (sex without a condom) once to be at risk of getting an STI. Find out more from Sexwise.
If you're going to Christmas parties, it's a good idea to think ahead and be prepared:
- Plan your journey before heading out to avoid walking too far in party clothes and shoes - there are lots of different transport types available in Oxfordshire
- Carry extra layers with you - incase you get too cold
- Consider packing an alterative pair of shoes.