Memorial Day is often referred to as the “unofficial” start of summer and is one of the busiest days for family get-togethers.
It’s a wonderful day to share memories and do all the fun things that warmer weather and longer daylight hours offer.
The American College of Emergency has a list of safety tips to help make sure your Memorial Day isn’t interrupted by a trip to the ER.
“Fun in the sun, by the pool, on a boat or at a barbecue can quickly send you to the emergency department if you don’t plan ahead or use common safety sense,” said Dr. David Seaberg with the American College of Emergency Physicians. “You can have fun while at the same time take reasonable precautions to help keep you safe and most importantly, keep you alive.”
Food Safety — Judging by what I’ve seen recently in the grocery checkout lanes, food is going to play a big role in family get-togethers this Memorial day!
Refrigerate all perishable food within 2 hours, 1 hour if the temperature outside is above 90 degrees. To guard against cross-contamination of bacteria, keep uncooked meats away from other foods.
To avoid food poisoning, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture recommends cooking fresh poultry to 165 degrees, hamburgers to 160 degrees and beef to at least 145 degrees.
Grill Safety — A lot of that food will be cooked on a grill. Emergency physicians see firsthand the dangers associated with an outdoor grill. Before cranking up the grill, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned of any grease or dust. Check the tubes leading into the burner for any blockages from insects or food grease that can cause an uncontrolled fire. Replace any connectors that can lead to a gas leak and keep lighted cigarettes, matches or open flames away from a any grill. Do not use a grill in a garage, breezeway, carport or porch or near any surface that can catch fire. Also, always follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with the grill. If using lighter fluid to start a fire, do not over-saturate the coals or wood., and stand back from the grill to light it.
Water Safety — Many families and friends will be at the pool, lake or beach this holiday, participating in water activities. To prevent drowning, avoid alcohol when swimming or boating. Wear a lifejacket whenever you are on a boat. Make sure young children are supervised at all times when near the beach, on a boat, or by a pool or hot tub. Don't swim alone or in bad weather. Learn to swim and teach your children to swim. We also recommend that you learn CPR in case of an emergency.
Sun Safety — Protect against sunburn and heat stroke. Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 or higher and apply it generously throughout the day. Wear a hat outdoors and a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. Drink plenty of water, especially when in the sun or if you are sweating heavily. If you feel faint or nauseous, get into a cool place immediately.
Travel Safety – Memorial Day is one of the busiest holiday travel days by car. One of the most obvious safety tips is never drink and drive or travel with anyone who has been drinking. Take along a traveler first aid kit to help you be prepared for common emergencies. Wear your seatbelt and make sure your children are buckled up or in their car seats at all times. Make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and is in good working shape before a long road trip. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings if you are in an unfamiliar place and know where the nearest emergency room is. Also, avoid talking or texting on a cell phone while driving. You can always text or return calls after you get where you are going or pull off the road and park, if you need to reply immediately.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and be sure to take a few minutes to think about the true meaning of the holiday. A day to honor those that have given their lives in service to our country.
Story source: http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/Content.aspx?id=1812