Memorial Day tips

Stay safe while enjoying the outdoors or a cookout

Many of us will be throwing a Memorial Day cookout or taking a weekend getaway to start off the summer. Memorial Day signifies the beginning of the season — a time for grilling, baseball, suntans and travel. Here are a few tips to stay safe this holiday weekend.

Eat healthy

  • Half your plate should be fruits and vegetables! Summer is a great season for fresh, local ingredients. Try a new fruit or vegetable this weekend.
  • Stay hydrated! It’s easy to forget about water when you are outside having fun and sweating it all out. But dehydration isn’t fun, especially on a long weekend. Make sure to get at least eight glasses of water a day.
  • Portion size is key. With picnic tables full of so many different options, we want a little bit of everything in sight. Make sure you don’t go overboard, especially with your protein! Protein servings at each meal shouldn’t exceed a baseball-size hunk.

Swim safely

According to the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is major public health concern. Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, accounting for 7 percent of all injury-related deaths.

  • Don’t swim alone, especially children. Use the buddy system so there’s always someone looking out for you and loved ones.
  • At least one adult should supervise children around water at all times. Don’t let yourself get distracted by talking with friends, reading, drinking alcohol or using your phone when it’s your turn to supervise. Adult supervisors should be trained in CPR.
  • If you own a pool, make sure it has a fence completely surrounding it, separating it from the house.
  • Teach children lifesaving skills, such as how to float on their back, tread water and move to the side of the pool to climb out.
  • Protect yourself from skin cancer with sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat! It’s bound to be a hot weekend, so make sure to stay covered and reapply sunscreen often if you plan to be in the sun all day.
  • Anyone with diarrhea, vomiting, open wounds or infections should stay out of the water.
  • Don’t swim in water that looks discolored, murky or smells unpleasant. Keep in mind that bacteria and viruses might be lurking in lakes and rivers, as well as in pool water that isn’t properly maintained. Some of these germs can make you sick.
  • Take a shower as soon as possible after swimming, wading, fishing or boating in a river, stream or creek.
  •  To be extra safe, take the time to visit the websites of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection and the Kentucky Division of Water for advisories before swimming in any local river, stream or creek.

Boating safety

  • Be sure to always wear a life jacket and practice safe boating habits.
  • Children must wear life jackets approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while they are on boats, around an open body of water and participating in water sports.
  • Most boating accidents, particularly among teens, are related to alcohol. When you and your family are boating, assign a designated driver who won’t drink. Be sure teens know about the dangers of alcohol, on and off the water.

But most of all, have fun and stay active!

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