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How to Have a Fun, Safe Labor Day

It’s crazy how many tips we want to share for Labor Day this year. We knew we wanted to write a blog about staying safe over the holiday weekend. But when we started discussing the dangers, there were many aspects to explore. When we began researching tips, even more came up.

From health, to food, to heat, to travel to recreational activities, there’re a lot of ways a fun day can turn dangerous. With that in mind, here are a few tips to have a fun, safe Labor Day!

Our first topic is alcohol. Drinking alcohol is a large part of many celebrations. But we want to remind you to stay hydrated. Not only is alcohol poisoning a danger, but dehydration can also be a problem when drinking. Alcohol is a diuretic that can cause you to become dehydrated faster than not drinking anything.

Moreover, if you plan on drinking, have a designated driver. That applies to cars and trucks but also boats, ATVs, jet skis and other vehicles. Drinking and driving is never safe. Also, when you are getting to your party, or just traveling this weekend, be careful on the roads. Just because you have taken the precaution of having a designated driver doesn’t mean others have. There may be more intoxicated people on the road than usual.

Speaking of boats and jet skis, many Americans will be heading to the beach this weekend for some fun. That’s great! We love beach days. But be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water. Have a swimming buddy and know your limitations in the water. Many of us think that our ability in the pool transfers over to the ocean. But it’s important to remember that currents impact swimming safety and how difficult it is to get back to shore. Don’t overestimate your strength as a swimmer. Always swim where a lifeguard is on duty and watch kids, even when they are just playing at the water’s edge.

When you’re out and about, have a first aid kit to help with injuries, bites and stings and be sure to carry any medications you might need. This might seem like overkill for a day out, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You’d rather have the kit and never use it than wish you had it when a problem arises!

In the past couple of years, speaking about the spread of illness has become more important. While Covid has become far more treatable and vaccines are now widespread, viruses and colds can still ruin your health and derail your fun. Avoid contact with people who are sick. Don’t feel rude for not hugging someone who is unwell. Practice good hygiene when it comes to coughing, sneezing and handwashing. Get a good night’s sleep now to improve your immune system before seeing people on Monday. And, if you’re at high risk for Covid, don’t hesitate to ask people to test at home before gathering.

Here in southern California, we are in the midst of a dangerous heatwave. The heat warning started on Tuesday and won’t be lifted until Monday night! We are not alone. Other parts of the country are sweltering too. In our area, tons of parties are being pushed back until later in the afternoon to avoid the more intense heat and sun. While it might be disappointing to cut a party shorter, you’ll have a better time and a safer gathering if you aren’t in boiling temperatures. When you gather, have cool drinks and food on hand to beat the heat and enjoy your time together.

Finally, we want to talk about food. As on other weekends, making great food choices and being aware of your blood sugar is essential. Holidays are a time we often disregard our health goals. But it’s important to stick with your health plan. It’s also important to follow food safety. With high temperatures, keep foods like chicken salad, coleslaw and other things that spoil in the refrigerator or in well-insulated coolers until it’s time to eat. Wash your hands before and after handling raw meat, and cook meat well.

By observing these rules, you can celebrate in a responsible way that is fun and safe. Planning ahead means you don’t have to think about it on Monday, and you can have a great time without any unfortunate outcomes.

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

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