Labor Day Weekend Safety Tips
The first Monday in September is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of American workers. Labor Day marks the end of school vacation, and for some, summer itself. While this holiday originated as a national tribute to workers, it has evolved into a long weekend of activities for friends and family to enjoy, together before fall begins.
We at MD Now want you to have a relaxing, injury-free Labor Day weekend. Please celebrate with caution and use the following tips as a guide to have a peaceful and pleasant holiday.
Holidays mean more cars on the road as families travel to relatives, friends, parks, beaches, and fireworks. Unfortunately, traveling during a holiday is more dangerous than a regular weekend. In past years, Labor Day weekend averaged around 308 traffic fatalities.
Here are some ways to travel with safety in mind:
- Plan your route beforehand. Keep your eyes off the GPS, and on the road, by becoming familiar with the directions before you’re in the car.
- Get your car inspected. If you’re planning a longer trip, make sure your tires and car are road-trip ready.
- Prepare a car emergency kit that’s weather-specific and tailored to your area.
- Have a charged cell phone, and extra charger, in case you need emergency assistance.
There is a tendency to overindulge in drinking around holidays, which presents another danger for travelers: drunk driving. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying alcohol in moderation, but some dangerous myths do persist when it comes to intoxication and driving-related skills. Driving impairment occurs way before speech becomes slurred, and behavior reckless. Help protect yourself and others on the road, by designating sober drivers prior to parties or events.
Drunk driving isn’t the only danger of holiday drinking. When lots of drinking happens in a short period of time, there is a risk of alcohol poisoning or injury to others, or oneself. If you plan on consuming alcohol during the holiday, make sure you space out drinks, practice moderation, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Outdoor cooking produces delicious BBQ, grilled foods, and preventable injuries. Barbecue grills cause 7,000 injuries for Americans every year. If you get burned while grilling, come in to your local MD Now for treatment. Burns can easily become infected, so the sooner you can get treatment, the better. If you plan on hosting an outdoor BBQ, review these grilling safety tips to avoid cooking your hand, instead of burgers and hotdogs.
Food-borne illnesses are another concern with large parties when the chef becomes distracted and not focused on food safety. More than 48 million people get sick from food every year.
Recognize the symptoms of a food-borne illness, such as food poisoning:
- Stomach cramps
The long weekend is perfect for outdoor activities, including attending Labor Day parades and firework displays. Brush up on how to stay safe during the many activities this long weekend brings.
Drinking and setting off fireworks do not mix! If you plan on setting off your own fireworks this holiday, use these tips to keep you, your family, and pets free from easily avoidable burns.
Animal & Insect Bites
Many people bring their pets with them to the park or a parade. If you or your child is bitten by an animal while celebrating, seek immediate treatment so that your MD Now doctor can check for signs of infection, embedded teeth, foreign materials, or signs of rabies. Severe bites can cause nerve, tendon, or blood vessel damage; so, it’s better to have the wound checked sooner rather than later.
Sadly, bugs do not take a vacation during the holiday weekend. With fall right around the corner, mosquitoes are out, and they are ready to have a party of their own. Protect yourself from potential mosquito-borne illnesses, by using an insect repellent that contains 20%–30% DEET, and learn other precautions you can take to avoid mosquito bites.
For a bee sting, lessen the impact of the wound by removing the stinger, applying ice, then washing the wound and using a hydrocortisone cream to reduce the reaction. Monitor the person stung for a possible allergic reaction to the sting. If an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis is suspected, seek emergency treatment immediately.
More time outside, means more time in the sun. In the short-term, sun exposure can cause sun burns, heat exhaustion, and in extreme cases, heat stroke. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and always use a water-resistant sunscreen formula with SPF 30 or above, to protect yourself against skin damage and skin cancer.
Swimming & Other Water Activities
Swimming and boating are popular activities for Labor Day weekend. No matter how experienced you are, it’s a good idea to review safe boating tips before setting out. When children are in the water, always have onsite, active adult supervision. Swimming safety rules are body-of-water dependent, so make sure your children are aware of the different dangers of pools vs. oceans, lakes, and rivers. Keep your children splashing safely by reviewing these swimming tips.
We hope you have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend. However, if something does go wrong, your local MD Now will be open during the holiday, with no appointment needed.