(Safely) saying goodbye to summer
Labor Day, here we come. Summer, that's a wrap.
This is the time of year that features the end of lazy days and vacations, and the start of "normal" work and school schedules. But it also brings a last leap into the pool, a final road trip to the shore or the mountains, and a round of Labor Day picnics and backyard barbecues – the season's last hurrah.
End the summer safely.
The heat goes on
Though the calendar signals fall is almost here, summer weather can linger. Don't forget to:
- Use sunscreen, reapplying after sweating or swimming. Use a water-resistant sunscreen if you sweat heavily. Don't forget your lips: use a balm or cream with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- If you can wear a hat, choose one with a brim that shades your face, ears, and neck.
- Protect your eyes from the sun with sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Get adequate hydration in the final dog days of summer. Refrain from sugary sodas, juices and sports drinks and opt for water. If you are sweating heavily, fitness waters can replace electrolytes.
Be prepared for scrapes and sprains
This summer, and all year long, keep go-to basic first aid supplies on hand to treat minor cuts and strains. Here is a list of supplies:
- Bandages of different sizes.
- Elastic bandages for sprains.
- Petroleum jelly to cover minor scrapes and blisters.
- Hydrocortisone cream (for swelling, itching and redness).
- Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen (also in child-strength version if you have kids at home).
Water safety reminders
The pools are closing but there is time for one final swim. Follow these safety tips at the pool or when swimming in the ocean, a lake, or any body of water:
- Know your limitations, including physical fitness and medical conditions.
- Never swim alone. Bring a buddy and swim near lifeguards or water watchers whenever possible.
- Swim sober.
- Never dive headfirst into water that is less than 9 feet deep. If the depth is not marked, do not dive.
- Swim in safe areas. Be aware of currents in the ocean or rivers, the water temperature, or underwater hazards such as vegetation.
Don't forget food safety
Food safety begins the minute you start handling food and continues until you put it away after a meal. Avoid illness by following these tips at all end-of-summer gatherings:
- When handling raw meat, chicken and other poultry, and seafood, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends separating it from other food, refrigerating it before grilling, and using a food thermometer to ensure meat is cooked to a safe internal Fahrenheit temperature (145° for whole cuts of meat as well as fish; 160° for hamburgers and other ground beef; 165° for all poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs).
- When preparing other foods, such as salads or side dishes, make sure to wash your hands while assembling the dishes.
- Chill ALL leftovers promptly (never leave perishable food out for more than two hours, or one hour if it's hotter than 90 degrees outside).
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