Memorial Day Health Tips for A Safe and Sunny Celebration

skin_cancer_treatment_tanning_booths_sun_exposure_cancer_preventionOk, y’all! After months of patiently waiting for the rain to end, it’s finally here – summer! With Memorial Day serving as the unofficial start to the celebrated season of sun and kicking off the weekends at Virginia Beach we’ve all been looking forward to, you want to make sure that this weekend is as healthy and safe for you and your family as possible.

Here are three general categories for ensuring a healthy and safe celebration this Memorial Day!

  1. Road Trips
    Millions of people are going to be on the road. In order to stay safe on your road trip the AAA recommends a few basic precautions:

    • Do a quick car check-up. Take a few minutes to ensure your tires, fluids, and wipers are all in good working order. Make sure you’re up-to-date on your inspection and have a kit in case anything happens to you on your trip. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the way to your vacation!
    • Never drink and drive. This is self-explanatory, and something everyone should observe. If you’ve been drinking and need to get to another location to meet up with friends or get home call a cab. Getting behind the wheel after drinking is not worth your life or anyone else’s.
    • Buckle up. Buckle up and make sure that your kids are properly secured in their child safety seats. This one, simple step can greatly increase your chances of surviving or avoiding injury in a car accident.
    • Get a good night’s sleep. Get a good night’s sleep before you hit the road to ensure you’ll be alert and rested for a long day of driving on a busy road. Coffee and energy drinks are no substitute for the real thing, so if you feel tired pull over and take a break.
  2. Summer Safety for Kids
    • Protect them from the sun with SPF. In order to avoid a sunburn (and the compounded damage and risk of skin cancer), kids should wear at least SPF 25 when spending time in the sun. Remember to reapply frequently – especially if you’re at a water activity.
    • Use the proper car seats. Summer can mean lots of long drives to visit relatives, spend a day at the beach, or explore new activities. It’s a great time to evaluate your child’s car seat. These seats are essential to proper driving safety and can help children avoid injury in serious car accidents. Ask your pediatrician if you have questions about which car seat is appropriate for your child.
    • Water necessitates caution. Visiting the beach, lake, or pool? Around any body of water lifeguards are a must. If you can’t find a lifeguard who is on duty (for whatever reason) make sure you identify an adult who is responsible for supervising and monitoring the kids while they are in – or near – the water.
    • Never leave your child alone in the car. Cars can act like ovens, conducting heat after just a few minutes in the bright sun and warm summer weather. Just running into the store to pick something up? It doesn’t matter. A child should never be left alone in the car – even for a few minutes.
  3. Boating Safety
    • Do a check-up before hitting the waves. Examine your boat, just as you would your car. Has it been properly spring commissioned? Take the boat out for a test drive before summer to make sure it’s working properly, and make sure your safety equipment is in good shape — that the life preservers are fully functional and you have enough of them.
    • Never drink and boat. Half the fatalities that take place on the water happen because someone is under the influence.
    • File a float plan. File a float plan with someone from home before you leave on an overnight trip or go offshore. Make sure you share your cell phone number, tell them where you’re going out of, where you plan to be, and when you’re planning to be back so if they don’t hear from you, they can notify the proper authorities.
    • Stay informed. Boaters should always keep eyes on the water and the weather. Watch for swimmers and water skiers, and submerged objects in the water at all times.

If you’re leaving for a trip, make sure you know where the emergency rooms are located nearby in case of an accident. If you have a chronic health condition, you may want to schedule a physical with your physician to get a general health check-up and make sure your medications are in order before setting off on any big trips. For those planning to travel abroad, visit your primary care doctor to ensure you have all the recommended vaccinations for whichever country you are visiting!

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