Memorial Day Health & Safety Tips

Memorial Day is right around the corner — hello long weekend! We hope you’re gearing up for some fun in the sun with friends and family. 

If you are, here are a few ways to stay safe and healthy.

Travel Safety

Millions of Americans will be traveling for Memorial Day weekend. If you’re driving to your destination, make sure your vehicle is in good condition before hitting the road. Check your tire pressure, fill up your gas tank, and make sure you have an emergency kit with you.

Be aware of increased traffic on the roads for the holiday weekend. It can also be helpful to know the weather forecast and plan your travel route ahead of time. 

If you’ll be drinking at all during the weekend, make sure you have a designated driver. Do not drink and drive or let anyone who is intoxicated behind the wheel of a car.

Food Safety

One of the best parts of Memorial Day is the food! Proper food safety can help ensure everyone has a great time at the party.

When preparing food, always wash your hands before cooking and in between handling different foods to avoid cross-contamination. Use warm water to wash your hands, especially after touching raw meat. Do not reuse utensils that have touched raw meat to serve cooked food.

It’s also important to keep food at safe temperatures. Cold foods should be kept refrigerated or on ice and not left out for more than an hour. Warm foods should be heated to at least 140°F until it’s time to serve them. If the weather is above 90°F, do not let any food sit outside for longer than an hour.

Grilling & Fire Safety

Grilling is a big part of many Memorial Day celebrations. If you’re using a grill or smoker, be sure to follow these safety tips:

  • Before using your grill for the first time this season, make sure to clean all grease off and position it out in the open, away from trees and high-traffic areas.  
  • Make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency. 
  • If using a propane grill, inspect the propane fuel lines and make sure you know how to cut them off if necessary.
  • Never leave a lit or hot grill unattended.
  • Always supervise children and pets to keep them away from hot surfaces.
  • When grilling, use long-handled tools designed to keep your hands safe, and do not wear loose clothing.
  • When you’re finished grilling, make sure the coals are completely out and the propane is turned off.

Sun Safety

Whether you’re outside at a party, picnic, or on the water for Memorial Day, sun safety is essential. Sun exposure can cause burns or even skin cancer if you don’t properly protect yourself.

Always wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 that will protect against UVA and UVB rays and reapply every two hours. Sunglasses are also great for protecting your eyes from UV rays.

Wear a hat to help provide protection for your head and neck and wear long sleeves and pants to further reduce sun exposure. Umbrellas or covered picnic areas are other great ways to stay protected in the shade.

Be sure you’re staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water while in the sun as well!

Water Safety

Memorial Day is the first weekend many people spend time swimming, boating, or waterskiing

for the year. Make sure you and your loved ones are being safe around the water with the following tips.

When at the beach, swim with a buddy and stay near lifeguard chairs, even if you’re an experienced swimmer. Lifejackets are great to wear while swimming on open bodies of water, especially for anyone who is not a proficient swimmer.

Always supervise children when they’re in or near water. Make sure young children or new swimmers stay within arms reach of an adult. Do not drink alcohol while swimming or supervising swimmers. 

Click here for more swimming safety tips.

When you’re on a boat, make sure you wear your U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Do not substitute inflatable children’s toys for proper life jackets. Be aware of the weather forecast before heading out and make sure someone on land knows your plan. 

Memorial Day can be a fun time with family and friends, as long as you make sure you’re all staying safe. Even with the most careful planning, accidents can still happen. If you need to see a medical provider over the weekend, we’re here for you and walk-ins are always welcome.

Now go have a great Memorial Day!