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Memorial Day Safety Tips

Memorial Day Safety Tips

Memorial Day safety tips should be front and center as you make plans for the upcoming long weekend. 

To help with every aspect of this holiday, we’ve put together several tips for outdoor and travel safety. Keep these in mind, and make your great time even better by ensuring everyone’s safety.

Food Safety

The first of our Memorial Day weekend safety tips is to watch what you eat. Yes, it’s good to eat healthy whenever possible, but it’s also important to take care of whatever you plan to cook. Some Memorial Day food safety tips to take if you’re planning a cookout include:

  • Wash your hands often, using hot water, especially after handling raw meat
  • Avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards and knives for raw meat and produce
  • Cook food thoroughly, using a food thermometer to make sure it reaches the proper internal temperature
  • Keep hot food hot and cold food cold by storing it properly

Memorial Day is about fun. But that fun can be ruined if you’re spending the days after in the bed or bathroom.

Water Safety

Important safety tips for Memorial Day weekend to pay attention to include your time on the water. That’s swimming, boating, waterskiing – you name it. Suggestions:

  • Wear a life jacket, even if you’re a strong swimmer
  • Don’t drink alcohol while boating or swimming
  • Be aware of the weather conditions and forecast before heading out on the water
  • Make sure someone on shore knows your float plan before you leave
  • Avoid swimming alone
  • Be extra cautious around natural bodies of water (strong currents)

Fire and Grill Safety

Fire hazards are something else to consider when it comes to staying safe. Think about the most likely Memorial Day activities in which you’ll engage. Fireworks and grilling immediately come to mind. Suggestions for keeping things under control:

  • Never leave fireworks unattended
  • Keep a bucket of water or hose handy in case of fire
  • Don’t point or throw fireworks at people
  • Don’t try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned
  • Soak used fireworks in water before throwing them away

And when grilling, make sure to:

  • Keep the grill away from flammable objects, such as trees and buildings
  • Make sure the grill is on a level surface
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill
  • Never leave the grill unattended

Safe Sun Exposure

Chances are good that you’ll be outdoors for at least part of the holiday weekend. And whether you’re grilling, swimming, or just hanging out by the pool, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Suggestions:

  • Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, and reapply as needed
  • Wear a hat to provide additional protection for your face, head, and neck

Remember that skin cancer from sun exposure is quite common. And one in four US deaths is due to cancer.

Travel Safety

Some of you inevitably will choose to take your holiday on the road. For that, we have some Memorial Day travel safety tips.

When driving, be aware of increased traffic on the roads. And be extra careful when merging and passing. Obey the speed limit, and don’t tailgate.

Also, make sure your vehicle is in good working order before heading out. If traveling by plane, train, or bus, make sure to allow plenty of time to get to your departure.

What to Remember About These Memorial Day Safety Tips

Keep fun at the forefront of your plans, but do remember that emergencies can still happen. Being prepared with these Memorial Day safety tips will ensure that you know what to do should one occur.

And if you’re in the area when it does, keep our emergency room in Calallen, TX, programmed into your phone. We’re open 24/7 for all your medical emergencies, even on holidays! 


Laestadius, Jasminka Goldoni MD, PhD; Dimberg, Lennart MD, PhD. “Hot water for handwashing – where is the proof?” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, April 2005, Vol. 47, Issue 4, p. 434-435

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. “Cancer statistics at a glance.”