The long Labor Day weekend is synonymous with travel, outdoor cooking, and excursions to the beach, lakes, and parks for time with family and friends. With a little attention and preparation, you can help ensure your Labor Day holiday is safe and injury free!
Labor Day marks one of the busiest travel times of the year, so plan accordingly. Allow yourself plenty of time to travel to your destination, and make time for frequent rest stops. Busy roadways often mean more stress and can be mentally draining. Taking a break is a great way to calm down and ensure you are free of distractions while behind the wheel.
Also, don’t forget to do a routine maintenance check prior to travel, including oil levels, tire pressure, and tire condition. Pack an emergency kit with flashlights, jumper cables, and a tool kit just in case.
It should go without saying that drinking and driving don’t mix. Unfortunately, thousands of deaths occur every year because of drunk drivers. Drunk driving is especially prevalent over Labor Day weekend. Please have a designated driver if you plan to drink.
Additionally, if you are participating in sports or outdoor activities, remember that alcohol affects your coordination and ability to make fast, reasonable decisions. Set a limit for yourself and stick to it. This will help you keep clear of potential hazards.
Whether at the beach or at a lake, boating is a major part of Labor Day activities for those fortunate enough to live near a body of water. Similar to driving, take the time to make sure your boat is in good mechanical condition before hitting the water. Further, make sure your family is ready as well – this means access to personal flotation devices, a first aid kit, and an emergency tool kit.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foodborne illnesses affect 48 million people every year, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths annually. Try to minimize the risk of cross-contamination by washing your hands before and after you touch raw or undercooked meat. If you have meat waiting to hit the grill, keep it refrigerated – never let it sit out in the hot sun.
Also be cautious when grilling. Loose fitting clothing and inattention at a hot grill can result in fires and burns. Always keep children a safe distance from a hot grill and ensure they understand that just because a grill is off, it does not mean it has cooled.
Sure, alcohol and soda may be more appealing, but your body needs water. If you are having a party, make sure you provide a few ice chests of bottled water for your guests. Alternating between water and alcohol is not only a great way to stay hydrated but also a great way to avoid over-consumption of the latter.
It is likely the sun will still be shining, so apply sunscreen. Also, if you are taking medications, check to see if they increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. And remember, the elderly and children tend to have more sensitive skin, so check in on occasion to see if more sun block need to be applied.