Tips for a Happy, Healthy & Safe Memorial Day

Whether you’re grilling out this Memorial Day weekend, hitting the pool, gathering the family up for a road trip or heading to the Lake, keep the safety of your friends and family at the forefront of your mind by staying aware, prepared and on the defense with some of the these simple tips:

Avoid Fire Dangers While Grilling

On average, gas grills are linked to as many as 6,900 home fires every year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. But while there are risks involved in serving up fiery meats and veggies straight from the grill, there are ways you can reduce those risks. The NFPA offers this advice:

  • If you haven’t used your grill recently, check the parts for cracks, peeling and even signs that animals may have moved.
  • Make sure your grill is placed away from high traffic areas and in the reach of children and pets.
  • Never barbeque in a trailer, tent, house or garage, since carbon monoxide accumulation can be deadly.
  • Make sure your grill is set up on a stable surface that cannot be easily tipped over.

Keep Food Safe

Especially in rising Texas temperatures, food can easily become spoiled or more susceptible to food-borne illnesses without proper care. The USDA offers the following tips to help avoid some of the food borne illnesses that may accompany warm weather barbeques and get-togethers.

  • Always refrigerate perishables within 2 hours. If the temperature outside is higher than 90 degrees, get your perishables into the fridge within an hour.
  • Thaw meats completely before grilling, for more even cooking and internal temperatures.
  • Keep cold food cold. Avoid opening coolers housing meats and perishables too often and keep out of the direct sun.
  • Keep hot food hot. After cooking meats, keep hot until serving (140 degrees or warmer).
  • Use new and clean containers and platters. Don’t put cooked foods on plates the previously held raw meats.
  • Try not to char foods and meats (since some studies show raised risks of cancer tied to high heat cooking methods).

Protect Loved Ones in the Sun and Water

According to the American Red Cross (ARC), drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury related death among children ages 1 to 14. But despite the dangers associated with swimming and water recreational activities, a 2009 survey completed by the ARC revealed that 90% of families planned water related activities where there may not be a lifeguard. Take a look at some of the following recommendation by the ARC to protect your family from some of the risks associated with water play:

  • Swim in areas that are supervised by a lifeguard.
  • Use personal flotation devices when in and around the water.
  • Establish rules for your family members based on their own swimming and water comfort levels.
  • Do not mix alcohol with swimming, diving or boating. Not only does alcohol impair judgment, it can also reduce your body’s ability to keep warm in chilly water and affect your ability to swim, etc.
  • Stay hydrated in the heat with plenty of water. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages can be particularly dehydrating.

Preparing for problematic situations, emergencies and staying informed are all great ways to make sure that you and your loved ones can have an enjoyable holiday weekend and summer despite some of the risks and dangers associated with warm-weather activities.

Have a Happy, Safe & Blessed Memorial Day! Our thoughts and prayers are with those members of our armed forces who have sacrificed their lives for our great country, our Veterans and current service members.

*The content of this website has been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The material posted on this website is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship, and readers should not act upon it without seeking professional counsel.

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