Give the gift of life this Christmas

LIAM HYSLOP
Last updated 15:28 18/12/2013

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If you are struggling to find a Christmas present then consider gifts of life and good health.

Some lifesaving items include personal locator beacons, fire alarms, immunisations and blood donations.

Maritime New Zealand recommends giving a personal locator beacon to the outdoor enthusiast in your life.

Over the past year 127 people have been rescued as a result of setting off a personal locator beacon.

On Christmas Day last year German software engineer and avid tramper Frank Spychalski was found dead on Cascade Saddle, near Wanaka. It is believed a personal locator beacon would have saved his life.

This lifesaver doesn't come cheap, however, with prices starting from about $400.

The Fire Service recommends checking your smoke alarms are working this Christmas.

If you don't have any then buy some and install them. Smoke alarms save lives and some of them cost less than $10.

The Ministry of Health always encourages parents to give the gift of health by immunising their children against a range of diseases.

A lot of the main ones, such as the whooping cough vaccine, are free for children, not that your kids will be too pleased to be jabbed with a needle for Christmas.

If you have already immunised your own then Unicef offers immunisations for impoverished children overseas for just $30 to $40.

Car crashes and stabbings are likely to increase over the silly season so the Blood Service will need plenty of extra blood to be donated.

There is always a shortage, particularly of the rare blood types, so your contribution could save a life and, other than transport costs, it is free to give.

Concerned about a geriatric in your life then you may want to consider buying them a MedicAlert bracelet.

It alerts paramedics to them if they are in strife but beware who you give it to as a mobile and healthy old person might be quite offended by such a gift.

They come in a range of designs, with prices ranging from about $50 to $455 for a 10-carat gold-filled round pendant and chain.

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