This column appears in the Nevada Appeal’s Tuesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
Memorial Day, which will be observed next Monday, is a day of remembrance that gives Americans an opportunity to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice made by some members of our nation’s armed services. Additionally, this day is often thought of as the “unofficial” start of summer. The weather is warming up and it’s starting to feel more like summer, so start thinking now about summer safety and how you can prepare for a safe and healthy Memorial Day weekend.
Memorial Day marks the start of the busy summer travel season. Make sure you’re safe on the road by keeping your vehicle is in good working order — check your oil and make sure tires are properly inflated before heading out for a long weekend road trip. Make sure you arrive alive by staying alert behind the wheel and looking out for other road users, especially bicyclists and pedestrians. Most importantly, never drink and drive and always wear your seat belt.
If you’re planning a Memorial Day cookout to start the summer, make sure the grill is far enough away from any structure to avoid causing a fire, and never leave a lit grill unattended. Before you put the food on the barbecue, guard against cross-contamination by keeping uncooked meats away from other ready-to-eat foods. Promptly refrigerate any uneaten food. Make sure kids and pets are kept away from the grill to prevent burns.
Stay hydrated: In our dry climate, sweat evaporates quickly, so it may not seem like you’re sweating as much as you are. Sweating is one of the main ways our body keeps cool, and you may be losing lots of water even if you don’t realize it. Be sure to replenish all that lost fluid by drinking plenty of water, especially if you are doing any type of vigorous activity, like exercise or yard work.
Be mindful of kids and pets in the car: The temperature inside a sealed car can climb quickly to dangerous levels. Remember to never leave children or pets unattended in a closed-up vehicle, even for a few minutes. A hot car poses a danger to anyone trapped inside. Also, make sure any pets left at home have access to plenty of water and shade throughout the summer months.
Be water-wise: Swimming and water sports are a favorite summer activity for many. This year, because of the high level of snowmelt from our historic winter, or regions waterways may be a danger to those who venture into fast-moving current.
If you want to go in the water, choose to swim at a location where you can be safer, like our community pool. Regardless of where you choose to swim, be sure that you are aware of the hazards and that you have the skills to enjoy water safely. Children should always be supervised in and around water. The Carson City Aquatic Facility offers swim lessons for children of all levels. Online registration is available at www.carson.org/ccpr.
Carson City Health and Human Services will be closed Monday for observance of Memorial Day. The office will reopen for normal business hours on Tuesday.
For information about Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org, or “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CCHHS.