Simple Ways to Stay Safe This Memorial Day Weekend
Ah…Memorial Day Weekend—the unofficial launch of summer. Pools open, friends host BBQs, and you can go hiking, boating, and road-tripping, even with your furry friend. Although these are all fun activities, you must exercise caution and common sense as each of these activities has inherent dangers.
Thanks to the American Red Cross, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the National Firefighter Protection Association, and AbsorbTech, here are some safety tips to protect yourself, your pets, and your vehicle.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, this Memorial Day weekend requires more precaution and people.
- Parents are encouraged to read CDC guidelines to know how best to navigate the challenges.
Heat Stress Avoidance
Heat stress can come on unexpectedly, so it is vital to know the signs, act quickly, and avoid heat stress from turning into heatstroke.
- Bring all the necessities for a day in the sun—plenty of water, sunscreen, first aid, etc.
- Take breaks in a cool, shady place.
- Avoid heavy work during the hottest part of the day.
- Watch for signs of heat stress—headaches, nausea, lightheadedness, confusion, irritability, upset stomach.
Supervising your pets is a top priority for ensuring your dog survives the “dog days of summer:”
- Never leave your pets unsupervised around a pool or lake—not all dogs are expert swimmers.
- Also, try to keep sunscreen your dog from drinking pool water, which contains potentially dangerous chemicals like chlorine.
- Skip the toxic and insect repellant. However, use flea, tick, and heartworm medications.
- Pets can dehydrate quickly; ensure they have plenty of fresh, clean water, and make sure they have a shady place to get out of the sun.
- Time spent outdoors comes with the added risk of curious pets escaping. Fit your pet with a microchip or ID tag with identifying information, or (preferably) both.
Grilling and Food Safety
Getting up close with the grill master is always a fun place to be but be careful not to distract the cook from their role.
- Place the grill well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grilling area.
- Let the coals cool completely before disposing of them in metal.
- Never leave your grill unattended when in use.
Driving with the top down and cruising along the coastal highway sounds nice until you snap out of it and realize you’re stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire and an overheated engine.
- Get a car checkup—inspect your transmission, AC, power steering, windshield wiper fluid, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and coolant levels to ensure they are all satisfactory
- Be aware of more motorcycles and cyclists on road.
- Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes water, jumper cables, flashlight, spare tire kit, cell phone with charger, non-perishable food, first aid kit,
- Take breaks and stretch your legs often. Take turns driving.
- Avoid, especially from children or pets in the backseat or calls or texts to your phone.
- Designate a driver who won't drink.
- Don't let your vehicle's gas tank get too low.
- Pull as far as possible off the highway if you have car trouble.
- Let someone know the logistics of your route. Then, if need help, info can be sent along your predetermined route.
Taking a dip in the pool or ocean is incredibly fun; however, you must be careful, as there are many risks.
- Be proactive and teach kids to swim. Never leave a child unattended in or near water. Avoid distractions.
- Take CPR for children and adults.
- Always have life jackets snugly attached to children and have the proper amount of floatation devices for adults.
- swim in designated areas.
- Know the dangers of the water environment, river currents, rip tides, and water temperature.
- Only If it’s a pool, make sure you do not dive into the shallow end. Watch out for how much alcohol you drink as it may cloud your judgment.
According to AbsorbTech, about 280 people go to the ER every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around July 4:
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
- Keep water nearby.
- Never throw at another person
- Find out if fireworks are legal in your area.
- Never re-light fireworks.
Hopefully, this guide will prepare you for Memorial Day Weekend so you can have responsible fun!
Research and materials for this article were compiled, written, and distributed on behalf of the National Public Health Information Coalition: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the various authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the National. Public Health Information Coalition or its members.