Stay Safe this Memorial Day Weekend

Teachers and students are finishing their last days of the school year. Families and friends are scheduling their vacations. The community is preparing for summertime adventures, beginning this weekend with the Memorial Day holiday.

For many, Memorial Day is the official start of summer, which means it is time for outdoor adventures, vacations, cookouts, and more. AAA estimates “more than 38 million Americans will travel this
Memorial Day weekend,” (newsroom.aaa.com).

In preparation for the holiday weekend, Lifeguard Ambulance Service and Santa Rosa County Emergency Management would like to provide some safety tips to remember during the weekend celebration, as well as throughout the summer.

Travel Tips:

  • Buckle up – the driver and all passengers should wear seatbelts, day and night, regardless of location in the vehicle; children should be properly secured in a car safety seat (www.healthychildren.org): Many states, including Florida, have a “Click it or Ticket” law
  • Obey traffic laws and use extra caution on the road as there will be an excess of motorists and pedestrians
  • Give full attention to driving: do not drive while intoxicated, texting, posting to social media, taking pictures, or otherwise distracted
  • Pack a first aid and disaster kit in the car in the event of an emergency
  • Prep your home before you leave town:Avoid posting on social media that you will not be home or where you will be traveling
  • Lock all doors and windows
  • Stop/hold all your mail, deliveries, and newspaper or request a neighbor/relative to pick it up
  • Make sure potential fire hazards are secured appropriately – grills, electronics, lamps, etc.

Grill and Food Tips:

  • Do not leave a lit or hot grill unattended
  • Designate a “grill master” to assure children and pets stay away from the flames or hot grill
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Do not use a grill under porches or overhangs
  • Cover food to protect it from insects outdoors
  • Take steps to keep food at picnics and barbeques at proper temperatures to avoid foodborne bacteria (www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm109899.htm)

Outdoor Adventures:

  • Use and reapply bug spray and sunscreen (with appropriate SPF)
  • Wear other protective apparel for the activity, such as bicycle helmets, hats, sunglasses, appropriate footwear, safety vests, life vests, etc.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated
  • Never leave children alone or unattended while near a pool or open body of water; always have a responsible adult as the “designated, water watcher”
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • Wear life vests when boating and jet skiing; children and inexperienced swimmers should wear life vests around pools, rivers, lakes, or other open bodies of water
  • If a child is missing near a pool or body of water, ALWAYS check the water first
  • Be cautious around bonfires, fire pits, or sparklers
  • Test the temperature of playground equipment before children play

While many celebrate Memorial Day Weekend with vacations and summertime fun, this weekend is also a time dedicated to remembering the troops who have served and sacrificed for America.
Have fun and be safe this Memorial Day Weekend. If there is an emergency, DIAL 9-1-1 for assistance!