It’s Memorial Day Weekend! The official start of summer is here. It’s a time for gathering with friends and family for outdoor fun and remembering lost veterans. Whether you are planning to travel, grill, host a picnic, have fun in the sun or spend time outdoors, remember these safety tips for a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Travel Safety: If you are traveling this weekend, keep in mind many people are on the road with many things other than driving on their mind.

  • Prepare your car for road trips by checking the tire pressure, filling up your gas tank and making sure emergency essentials are packed.
  • Plan your drive ahead of time to choose direct routes on safe roads and keep an eye on weather conditions.
  • If taking a long trip, make sure the driver has plenty of sleep the night before the trip each way. Frequent stops may help battle any fatigue, but a good night’s sleep keeps everyone in the car safe.
  • Always wear those seatbelts and make sure car seats are properly installed!

Grilling safety: Grills and smokers have great potential for danger.

  • Never leave a lit or hot grill unattended.
  • Keep the grill at least two feet away from objects that can catch fire such as siding of the house or deck walls, low hanging branches and any outdoor equipment such as pool toys.
  • Designate a “grillmaster” to control flames and to keep children and pets away.
  • Keep an extinguisher nearby and be prepared to cut off fuel lines if using propane. Read the instructions in advance since there will not be time to do so in the event of an emergency.

Picnic Safety:

  • Proper food safety can help avoid tummy troubles that may dampen your fun.
  • Make sure to keep food at safe temperatures. Cold foods should be kept on ice or refrigerated and left out no longer than an hour. Warm foods should be kept heated until served.
  • Cover outdoor buffet dishes to prevent insects from adding germs as an ingredient to your delicious recipe. 

Water Safety:

  • Designate a “pool-watcher” when children are swimming. When many gather together adults may think someone else is watching, but having one person that’s in charge can increase safety.
  • Know in advance which children are able to swim and those that cannot. All children need to be supervised; however, as no child or adult is “drown-proof.”
  • If boating, always have kids wear life-jackets and have one available for each adult. Life-jackets also need to be appropriately fitted.

Sun safety:

  • For young children, schedule activities in early morning hours or evening hours when possible, as temperatures will be lower in these hours.
  • Always use sunscreen and reapply frequently, especially if swimming or sweating. Use sunscreen with minimum of SPF 15 with both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Protect your eyes too! Wear a hat and sunglasses.

Outdoors: Be prepared for bug bites and more!

  • Keep a first aid kit ready and well stocked so you’re prepared for insect bites (As well as cuts and bruises from that outside summer fun kids love to have)!
  • Be prepared for insects that can pose hazards. If anyone is allergic to bees or other pests, it is vital to have medicine available. Checking for ticks may be relevant as well.
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers in the kit that includes phone numbers for: doctors, dentists, poison control, and emergency contacts. 

Now, let’s enjoy the time off and fun in the sun. You deserve it! Share these Memorial Day safety tips with friends and family, and have a safe and happy holiday!