Tips for a Safe & Healthy Holiday and Summer

Despite what the calendar says, most of us believe summer starts with Memorial Day weekend. So, now’s the time to remember these summer safety tips.

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) has gathered a few helpful tips to keep the summer safe and fun.

Grills and Fireworks

Firing up the grill may be the largest safety hazard of the summer season. Use caution when grilling with open flame and careful when using charcoal lighter fluid. Nearly 5,000 people are injured annually while grilling, while another 9,000 are injured using fireworks.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) provides helpful tips for barbeque, campfire and firework safety at http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/holiday-seasonal/summer.shtm.

Food Safety

Food safety is easy to overlook at summer picnics. These easy tips from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensure a deliciously healthy BBQ:

• Keep cold food cold with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 40°F or below.
• Keep coolers closed. This keeps the contents cold longer.
• Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat/poultry/seafood wrapped to avoid contaminating other picnic foods.
• Clean your produce. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables before packing.

For more summertime food safety tips, visit http://www.fda.gov/food/
resourcesforyou/Consumers/ucm109899.htm
.

Sun and Heat Exposure

Much of the country already is experiencing warm days, but don’t forget sun safety. EPA makes these suggestions to protect you from the sun’s damaging rays:

• “Slip, Slop, Slap, Wrap.” Slip on a shirt, slop on SPF 15+ sunscreen, slap on a hat and wrap on sunglasses.
• Seek shade during the sun’s peak hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Check the UV Index to identify the times that pose the greatest risk for overexposure to the sun.

For more sun safety tips from the EPA, visit http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/0736848BB441F37385257899004B8A5C.

Pests

Bugs and pests are more prominent during the warmer months and many people use repellants or pesticides to keep their homes free of insects. Use caution when applying these chemicals and look for products labeled child and animal safe. Be sure to know your local poison control center in case of inhalation or ingestion. To find your local center, visit http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/Home.aspx.

To eliminate mosquitoes, make sure you do not have standing water in any containers in your yard, as they can be a breeding ground for the pests. Seek professional help when dealing with the nests of stinging bugs, like wasps.

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