Although Fall doesn’t officially kick off until September 22nd , the upcoming Labor Day weekend is the unofficial ”see you later” to summer. With that comes a welcome three day weekend that many people want to take full advantage of. Trips to the beach, hikes, barbecues, and pool time, are some of the great ways to spend the long weekend. At 2nd Pair of Hands we want you to have a great Labor Day, but we also want to make sure you stay safe.
We’ve compiled a list of tips to keep your Labor Day weekend filled with laughs and fun and without safety issues.
- Practice Safe Driving: The National Safety Council estimates 420 people may die on U.S. roads this Labor Day holiday period. Causes of accidents could be related to alcohol consumption, drowsiness, and an increase of cars on the roadways. During Labor Day weekend, 36% of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver. If alcohol consumption will be taking place, it is important to designate a sober driver. As well, families traveling with children should take extra care to ensure that their child is properly restrained in the correct car seat or booster that is designed for their height and weight. Adults should also take care always to wear a seatbelt. If you will be traveling for long periods of time, ensure that frequent breaks are taken by the driver, and that the driver is able to drive distraction-free. Do not rush. Be sure to leave early and take your time while driving.
- Grill on the smart side: If your Labor Day weekend includes making delicious meals using your grill, be sure never to leave the grill unattended. Also, be sure to keep raw meat and cooked foods separated to prevent any cross-contamination with bacteria. The Food Network summarizes a few more safety grilling tips if you’d like to know more.
- Be conscious of the dangers of heat stress: If you’re doing outdoor activities this weekend and the temperatures are higher than normal, be sure to have plenty of water to stay hydrated. As well, be mindful that dizziness, extreme exhaustion, confusion, and muscle cramps could all be symptoms of heat related illness and must be addressed immediately. Take a look at Allonehealth’s guide to dealing with the heat to learn more.
- Protect yourself against insects: Although most bug bites are harmless, some mosquitos can transmit viruses that can cause severe illnesses. Also, some individuals experience rapidly progressing allergic reactions to insect bites or stings that need to be treated immediately. If someone experiences hives, throat swelling, or difficulty breathing after a bite or sting, call 911. If you’re outside, be sure to avoid wearing perfumes and bright clothing, as that may attract bugs. Choose an insect repellant that meets the needs of the activity you are doing.
- Stay safe by the water: Jumping into the water is a great way to cool off in the summer heat. But it’s important to stay alert of your surroundings when doing so. Always swim near a lifeguard and respect their instructions. If you’re at the beach, know what warning flags are up, and do not enter the water if it is not deemed safe. Rip tides are a danger while at the beach. If you are caught in one, swim parallel to the shore until the current weakens, and follow the instructions of the lifeguard. Always follow the buddy system near water. If there is thunder or lightening anywhere near your location, do not enter the water, as lightening and bodies of water can be a dangerous combination.
- Apply the proper sun protection: Protecting your skin from the sun is important, as unprotected sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Be sure to choose a sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher, and one that is water resistant, and provides prolonged coverage. If you’re outside for longer than two hours, be sure to reapply sunscreen, or reapply it immediately after swimming. For more information on sun protection, check out the AAD.