Labor Day weekend is the last big “hurrah” of the summer, a chance to celebrate the end of the season with friends and family. Across the country we’ll be relaxing and having fun with picnics, barbeques, road trips, sporting events, and plenty of beach and pool parties. Yet with all of the excitement, there’s also the potential for danger, so it’s important to keep safety in mind no matter what you do this weekend. Here are several tips to help make sure that you have a fun and safe Labor Day Weekend.Kid eating watermelon

Water Activities

For many people Labor Day weekend is the time to hit the water for swimming, boating and fishing. Follow these tips and learn more from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water Safety Tips.

  • Never go boating or swimming alone, always have a buddy.
  • Obey posted swimming and boating laws, and check water conditions throughout the day.
  • Do not drink alcohol and operate a watercraft.
  • Have personal flotation devices available for everyone, and make sure that young children and inexperienced swimmers wear them at all times.
  • Provide close and constant supervision of children and inexperienced swimmers at all times.
  • Wear a waterproof medical alert bracelet at all times if you have a medical condition, allergy, or in the event of an emergency.

Grilling

Picnics and grilling are some of the most fun Labor Day activities, but keep in mind these food safety tips.

  • Keep meats and other foods that require refrigeration cold until cooking or eating.
  • Keep the grill away from the house, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill.
  • Never add lighter fluid once the coals have already been ignited.
  • Avoid cross-contamination by washing hands, plates and utensils that have touched raw meats.
  • Find out if anyone has any food allergies before serving and be aware of cross-contamination of allergens.
  • Keep a spray bottle of water on hand for flare-ups and a fire extinguisher nearby for bigger emergencies.

Driving

Whether you’re taking a road trip, heading to the water or just driving in the neighborhood, stay safe and alert on the road.

  • Ensure that everyone wears a seat belt.
  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Allow enough time for travel and avoid excessive speed.
  • Eliminate distracted driving activities, including cell phone use, loud music and eating.
  • Keep an eye out for other drivers and use defensive driving tactics.

Hydration and Sun Protection

It’s tempting to soak up as much summer sun as possible over Labor Day weekend, but it’s important to take precautions to stay hydrating and avoid overexposure during fun outdoor activities.

  • Keep plenty of cold, fresh drinking water on hand at all times and encourage everyone to regularly drink water throughout the day.
  • Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, as well as soda and juice, as they can lead to dehydration and serious medical emergencies.
  • Always wear plenty of sunscreen with a high SPF, reapply frequently throughout the day, and keep plenty on hand for everyone to avoid sunburn and heat rash.
  • Avoid prolonged periods of direct sunlight, especially for small children, the elderly and pets. Make sure that there are places with cool shade to escape the sun’s rays throughout the day.

In general it’s important to have an emergency kit and plenty of water on hand at all times, not only over Labor Day weekend, but at other times as well. And if you or your loved ones have any allergies, medical conditions, or require specific medical attention, it’s important to always wear a medical alert tag.  Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!

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