We want you to have the most memorable Memorial Day imaginable. But we also want you and your family to stay safe. Wherever your adventures may take you, be sure to keep these simple safety pointers in mind.
Take these outdoor safety tips to heart:
- Never go anywhere alone.
- Learn basic first aid and carry a portable kit with you.
- Know the symptoms of dehydration, heart attack, heat stroke, water poisoning, and hypothermia.
- “Think Before You Drink.” This goes for alcohol and water. Hydration is important, but even H20 can be dangerous from dirty sources, and too much water can hurt you. Don’t drink alcohol while hiking, driving, or doing anything dangerous.
- Check the weather often. Flash floods, severe storms, and extreme weather can arrive unexpectedly.
- Don’t overdo it. If you aren’t a hiker, for example, don’t pick an expert trail for your first time out.
- Be careful of cliffs, potholes, loose electrical wiring, slippery surfaces, and other hard-to-see hazards.
- Wear sunscreen (even if it’s cloudy or raining).
- Keep your blood sugar and electrolytes in check.
- Make sure your cell phone is fully charged. Bring backup batteries just in case.
Boating Safety 101:
- Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD (personal flotation device, or life jacket). Children 12 and under must. Adults should too.
- Learn CPR before you go. Pack a First Aid kit.
- “Boozing and boating” is as bad as “drinking and driving.” Alcohol and boats do not mix. Boating accidents are extremely common, usually quite severe, and frequently involve alcohol.
- Unfortunately, some boating companies will rent a boat to almost anyone. Do your part by studying up first. Understand the basics of boat operation and the rules of the waterways. Know how to navigate buoys, dock a boat, and safely rescue someone in distress. (Never jump into the water to save someone else unless you’re wearing a PFD first.)
- Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.
- Make sure kids know how to swim and signal for safety. Teach them never to run on the boat, to stay away from the motor, and to mind the boat’s edges.
- If swimming is part of the itinerary, consider designating a “Water Watcher.” This is someone who agrees to stay aboard the boat so that they can come to the others’ rescue if the water suddenly turns dangerous. Remember: natural waterways are unpredictable.
- Do not approach wildlife. Familiarize yourself with the common creatures of the region. Alligators, snakes, crabs, and jellyfish are just a few of the threats lurking inside many public waterways.
- Bring a change of clothes and shoes that won’t slip.
- Pack a cooler with plenty of food and water.
Happy Memorial Day!
We wish a wonderful weekend for you and your family, wherever your travels may take you.