Source: David Hermanson, FAS
Seeing this picture of someone from Vientiane on social media, I couldn’t help but think of this old saying. “An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure”
Seeing all the unsafe thing that people do in this country makes me cringe.
As a former Medic it always made me sad to look at my patient on the stretcher and think of the months and years of rehabilitation they would face, because of a moment of carelessness. In many cases they faced a life time of disabilities. Most of the accidents could have been prevented if people had just been more aware, took more time, and thought about things before acting.
I want to vent about a few of the things that make me cringe every time I see them.
“Too many people on bikes” …. let’s look at the picture below:
I took this picture of these girls, and there was no doubt they were having fun! But look at the things that can go wrong in a heartbeat.
Flat tire, dog runs out in front of bike, car cuts you off, someone makes a right turn without looking left, and the list can go on and on.
Most accidents are from the front end. What will happen to the girl in front when four girls come down on top of her?
It is difficult to handle a bike with this many people on it. A bike should have no more than two people on it at one time.
I understand that most people in Lao only have a bike and maybe only one bike per family. So you will find yourself taking greater risks out of necessity. All I ask is that you stop and think is there a safer way to ride. Have children sit behind you if possible, don’t let them stand in front of you. Children are not strong enough to hang on should you have to stop very hard or swerve. You cannot grab them fast enough and keep control of your bike.
No helmets, Imagine a watermelon falling off your bike at 40km. Remember broken bones will heal, but brains do not heal well and will leave life time impairments.
Many people now have cars or trucks. These all come with seat belts. Please use them. It takes very little time to put them on.
Seat belts don’t always save lives but they do reduce injuries. Especially in town speeds.
I remember picking a 16 y/o boy up one morning that was on his way to school. Because of the snow on the road the truck he was riding in lost control and hit a tree. They were traveling at about 40 km’s / hr. . He was not wearing his seatbelt and flew forwards putting his head through the windshield cutting his throat. This boy died at the scene with no other injuries. There is no reason to not believe he would have lived had he took the 5 seconds and put his seat belt on.
Seat belt laws came into Canada when I was young and I remember people resisting against the regulations.
We made a rule with our children that the car would not go anywhere until the seat belts where on. It soon became a habit and soon they felt unsafe without having their seat belts on.
This is the mind set or attitude you need to develop with your family. Today our grandchildren will not let the car move until their belts are on..
It takes very little time to belt children into seats and makes them safer in the event of collisions or rollovers.
Please use car seats for your small children. Your children’s lives are worth far more than cost of a car seat.
Car seats are usually rated by the weight of the child.
Be creative when it comes to safety.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility; your children’s safety depends on you. They are your most precious possession you have.
Please invest the time to be safe … may be the greatest investment you ever make.
This article has been provided by FAS First Aid Services, known for its experience in first aid and trauma training courses carefully tailored to the needs of each customer in Laos