Memorial Day was officially declared a holiday in 1971 and is nationally celebrated to honor members of the U.S military who have given their lives to serve our great nation. It’s an opportunity to gather with loved ones and enjoy summertimes greatest pleasures. Unfortunately, many of these fun activities come with inherent safety risks, so knowing the dangers will help keep your family afloat over this amazing weekend!
Alcohol may be a part of your Memorial Day celebration. If this is the case, plan in advance how much you expect to drink and find an alternative method of transportation. Rideshares and public transportation are quick and easy ways to get around town. If you plan on having even more than one drink while you’re out celebrating, schedule ahead and assign a designated driver. Don’t risk putting yourself, your family and others in danger.
AAA predicts there will be approximately 42 million Americans on the road this weekend. The report states that travel delays could be up to three times longer than normal this weekend. This number is up by more than 5% from last years estimate. Even the record high gas prices aren’t deterring travelers from getting on the road!
Practicing responsible drinking habits should deter anyone under the influence from getting behind the wheel. Fatalities from car accidents on memorial day weekend have increased by 12% since 2013 and drunk driving accidents continue to climb every year. Practice drinking responsibly and never get in a car with someone who might be under the influence.
Enforce Pool Safety
If your planning on taking a dip this weekend, make sure you always place importance on supervising the weaker swimmers. If there is no lifeguard on duty be sure to appoint someone as a designated supervisor. It’s imperative to keep in mind that those who are swimming in deep water aren’t the only ones in danger. Depending on the intensity of the current or even the shape of the pool, there can be dangers lurking in the least likely of places. Even people who are wading in the water can be in trouble. Just because the water is only to your waist doesn’t mean that you are safe.
This is especially important when you’re at the beach. Always make sure to check with the lifeguard to make sure you and your loved ones aren’t in an area with strong rip currents or dangerous sandbars.
Grill With Caution
A backyard BBQ is the perfect way to kick off any holiday weekend. But before you break out the grill, make sure you keep in mind that they are extremely dangerous and can easily cause major burn injuries. Data from the National Fire Protection Association states that on average, 16,600 people go to the ER every year from injuries sustained by a grill or barbecue.
Little ones under five are especially prone to burn injuries because they are more susceptible to bump into the hot grill or even be tempted to touch it. It’s important to also keep in mind that once the BBQ is over the coals and embers are still extremely hot. Keep any items far away until the barbecue has completely cooled off and avoid wearing loose clothing while preparing the food.
Memorial Day weekend should spark the beginning of the summer, not a season of deadly driving and trips to the emergency room. The National Safety Council estimates that there are 402 expected fatalities during Memorial Day weekend — which officially kicks off at 6 p.m Friday, May 25th through Monday, May 28th. Sadly, this is the third year in a row that the death toll has been estimated at over 400. Don’t become another statistic, stay safe and enjoy responsibly.