Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of summer. While you are enjoying some fun in the sun with your family and friends or planning a weekend road trip, we have some safety tips that can help you enjoy your barbeques and Memorial Day celebrations safely.
Warm weather means taking a dip in the pool or hitting the beaches, which makes water safety extremely important. Last year, Florida lost more children to drowning than any other state. Most of these deaths occurred in home swimming pools. While water recreation can be fun for the entire family, it is imperative that you always keep an eye on your children.
Children ages 1 to 4 are most at risk for drowning. Many local pools have lifeguards, but this does not mean you should rely solely on those lifeguards. If the pool is a swim-at-your-own-risk pool, it is even more important that you keep an eye on everyone in the water. Make sure that any younger children in the group are within an arm’s reach of an adult who is an experienced swimmer. If you are in charge of small children, do not consume alcohol while supervising those in the pool as alcohol can reduce your reaction time.
Barbeque & Food Safety Tips
Memorial Day weekend means one thing for many Americans: cookouts. However, before you heat up the grill, make sure that it is cookout ready and has been cleaned properly, especially if the grill is powered by propane. Also, while you are grilling, keep any flammable items away from the grill while you are cooking. Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing, which can easily catch fire from the flames. As soon as the barbeque is over, make sure that your grill and the propane line are turned off and that all coals are completely cool before going inside for the night.
Additional Grilling Safety Tips:
- Operate your grill in an open, outdoor area that is well ventilated and far enough away from your home;
- Never leave food on the grill unattended;
- Keep flammable items – such as grill lighter fluid, potholders, wooden utensils, towels, napkins and cleaning supplies – away from the stoves and grills always.
Additional Food Safety Tips:
Picnics, barbeques, and neighborhood potlucks are a popular way to celebrate the holiday, but with that comes the chance of food-borne illness. Here are some food-prep safety tips to prevent cross contamination:
- Wash your hands before and after you touch raw meat;
- Use paper towels instead of cloth towels to dry your hands, and discard immediately;
- Refrigerate meat that is being prepared for the grill;
- Never leave food that requires refrigeration (i.e. – potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw or chicken salad) out in the sun. Instead, set the item the bowl is in on top of a pan filled with ice, and serve in area that is not in direct sunlight;
- Return these items to the refrigerator as soon as your guests have been served.
The warm weather will hopefully bring some sunshine this weekend, and with the sun comes the need for sunscreen. The last thing you want to do is ruin a fun weekend by getting severely sunburned. In fact, your skin can be burnt badly after just a few hours of being in the sun without any protection. Take extra care with children and babies as their skin is particularly sensitive to the sun. Apply sunscreen before going outside, and if you plan on being somewhere with very little shade, consider bringing an umbrella or covered picnic tent to reduce sun exposure. After a few hours outside, be sure to reapply sunscreen to make sure your skin remains protected. If you plan on going to the beach or pool, make sure that you are wearing waterproof sunscreen, as well.
Do Not Drink and Drive
The National Safety Council estimates that 380 people may die on U.S. roads this Memorial Day holiday period. Holidays traditionally are a time of travel for families across the United States. Many choose car travel, which has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation.
Nearly 1/3 of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers. Three-day holiday weekends like Memorial Day often involve people consuming more alcohol than they normally would. Whether you are attending a family barbecue or hosting a party, keep an eye on your alcohol consumption and your guests. Never get behind the wheel (or let anyone else do so) after consuming alcohol. Buzzed driving IS drunk driving. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver or other form of safe transportation, whether it be at taxi, Lyft or Uber.
We Are Here If You Need Us This Memorial Day Weekend
We would like to take a minute to thank everyone who has served this country.
We truly appreciate your service!
This Memorial Day weekend is going to be very busy on Central Florida roads. Accidents can happen at any time, oftentimes when you least expect them. Call 407-422-4529 at any time over the Memorial Day weekend to speak with a member of our Orlando Auto Accident Team. We hope everyone gets to relax and enjoy this weekend safely.