Tips for a Safe and Healthy Memorial Day Weekend

The Department of Health reminds everyone that the risks of these threats can be reduced by adhering to the following health and safety tips.

May 26, 2021 | 2 min reading time

This article is 3 years old. It was published on May 26, 2021.

As plans are being made for gatherings and outdoor activities for 2021 Memorial Day celebrations, the City of St. Louis Department of Health extends a warm wish to all residents and visitors for a safe and healthy holiday weekend. The Department of Health strives to make the St. Louis an equitable community achieving optimum health for all.

“The Memorial Day weekend is a special time to remember those who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. military,” says Dr. Fredrick Echols, acting director of health for the City of St. Louis. “It’s also the unofficial beginning of summer and numerous public health threats need to be on our mind including water play and waterborne pathogens, food preparation and consumption, sun exposure, mosquito control and driving - and this year COVID-19, as SARSCoV-2 regulatory mitigation strategies in our community and across the U.S. are relaxed.” 

The Department of Health reminds everyone that the risks of these threats can be reduced by adhering to the following health and safety tips.

Water Safety

  • When children are playing in water there should always be constant adult supervision.
  • Always use the buddy system when swimming.
  • Shower before swimming
  • Have children take bathroom breaks regularly and wash their hands with soap and water before returning to the pool.
  • Don’t swim and don’t allow children to swim with feces.
  • Don’t swallow pool water, fecal germs can make you sick.
  • Always wear life jackets when boating.
  • Wearing a life jacket while swimming is recommended, especially for persons who are not proficient swimmers.

Food Safety

  • Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and ready-to-eat items like vegetables or bread.
  • Keep perishable food cold until it is ready to cook
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked thoroughly to their safe minimum temperatures.
  • Always use a fresh, clean plate and tongs for serving cooked food. Never reuse items that touched raw meat or poultry to serve the food once it is cooked.
  • Perishable food should not sit out for more than two hours and when in hot weather above 90°F, food should never sit out for more than one hour.

Harmful ultraviolet radiation is a major risk factor for most skin cancers.

Sun Exposure

  • When outdoors use sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of 15 or higher for protection from ultraviolet (UV) A and ultraviolet (UV) B.
  • Cover your head to help shield the sun’s UV rays.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants to protect the skin from the sun.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays.

Mosquito Control

  • Drain standing water around your home and yard.
  • Dress wearing long sleeves and long pants when going outdoors.
  • During dust/dawn - avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use an EPA-approved repellent.

Travel Safety

  • Always wear your seatbelt while in a vehicle.
  • Properly install car seats.
  • Do not drink and drive or drive while intoxicated, designate a non-drinking driver.
  • If traveling on public transportation, including buses, trains, and aircraft, you are still required to wear a face-covering to help slow the spread of SARS CoV-2 the virus that causes COVID-19.

Individuals (vaccinated and unvaccinated) should continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing and face-covering recommendation.

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