Tips for a Safe, Healthy Holiday Weekend

Picnic with family & friends

The arrival of Memorial Day weekend, considered by most to be the official start of summer, often takes us on enjoyable journeys to places both near and far. The combination of crowds, increased travel on roadways, trips involving water and relaxed gatherings that may include alcohol require us to take safety into consideration when making Memorial Day weekend plans.

Whether your plans include exploring points of interest close to home, going to the beach or discovering the great outdoors, the Capital Women’s Care team wants you and your family to stay safe and healthy by offering you these important safety tips.

Driving Safety

Vehicle travel goes up significantly, especially during long holiday weekends. If your plans include traveling by vehicle, take these precautions:

  • Check fluid levels and tire pressure of your vehicle before traveling.
  • Drivers should be well rested and alert and take occasional breaks.
  • Watch out for motorcycles and emergency vehicles.
  • Allow ample time for travel and avoid excessive speeding.
  • All need to wear safety belts and make certain safety seats are properly installed.
  • Observe speed limits, follow road rules and signs, and use turn signals.
  • Clean headlights and use them at dusk or during inclement weather.
  • Don’t drink and drive and have a designated driver.
  • Pay full attention to the road and avoid distractions like cellphones.
  • Use caution in work areas.
  • Drive defensively and remain alert, especially for potentially intoxicated drivers, who cause one-third of yearly holiday traffic fatalities in the U.S.
  • Keep safe distance between other vehicles.

Heat Safety

  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine and alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting lightly colored clothing, as dark colors absorb heat from the sun
  • During the hottest part of the day, slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise outdoors.

Water Safety

  • Check weather and water conditions before beginning a water activity and remain alert to weather changes throughout the day.
  • Swimming in a pool is different than doing so in a lake, ocean or river – be sure you have the necesary swimming skills for the water environment you are in and ask about local conditions.
  • Use the buddy system when swimming.
  • Constantly monitor children of all ages in or near water.
  • Swim only in designated areas with lifeguard supervision and obey their orders.
  • Don’t dive headfirst to protect your head and neck.
  • Walk carefully into open waters and avoid aquatic life to prevent injury.
  • Have inexperienced swimmers and children wear Coast Guard approved life jackets while swimming or boating.
  • Have personal floating devices onboard and accessible if in open waters and while boating, tubing, waterskiing, kayaking, sailing or canoeing.
  • Let others know your plans in event you experience an emergency.

Outdoor Safety

Traveling to remote places requires being fully prepared due to limited access to phone service, hospitals and emergency assistance. Before heading out, take these precautions:

  • Take a Red Cross First Aid/CPR course to prepare if something happens and help is delayed. The course gives you knowledge on how to manage and treat severe wounds, broken bones, bites and stings, among other scenarios.
  • Know what each person in your party can manage and make plans accordingly. Sprains and falls are common occurrences that are preventable.
  • Be prepared with plenty of fluids to ward off dehydration danger.
  • Share your travel plans and locations with a neighbor or family member.
  • Use appropriate safety equipment (sneakers, helmets, gloves) for each activity.
  • Take a first aid kit, including insect repellent, sunscreen and personal medications.

Outdoor Fire Safety

Whether you are grilling, smoking or making a campfire, fire safety is important. Follow these fire safety tips to avoid burn injuries:

  • Keep grills and smokers away from anything that could catch fire, including buildings and tree branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from fire. Monitor their proximity constantly.
  • Avoid charcoal starter/lighter fluid once fire ignites.
  • Clean grill after each use.
  • Have a spray bottle of water on hand for flareups.
  • Construct outdoor fires only in approved and designated areas. Monitor wind direction to avoid potential of dangerous, out-of-control fire situations.

Maintain Healthy Habits

Holiday weekends packed with festivities and plenty of food tempt us to push aside established healthy eating and wellness habits. Here are some tips to help you enjoy yet stay in control during your

Memorial Day weekend plans:

  • Eat vegetables first, followed by lean proteins like chicken or fish and always save carbohydrates and starches last during your holiday weekend meals. At barbecues, begin with a salad and grilled veggies before meat and potato offerings.
  • Avoid drinking calories through sweetened beverages (soda and juice), beer and mixed beverages. Choose clear spirits with club soda if imbibing. Drink an 8-ounce glass of water between every drink having alcohol. Aim for 6 to 8 glasses of water/day.
  • Don’t skip meals as it leads to overeating later. Instead eat a lighter breakfast and lunch of protein and veggies if you know you are having a big dinner. Greek yogurt and salad with veggies are great choices to keep you satiated so you can enjoy dinner sans guilt.
  • Keep moving. Go walking, biking, hiking, swimming or any other activity you enjoy doing throughout the weekend – all activity counts!
  • Give in to cravings in moderation to avoid binge eating later. Enjoy a guilt-free slice of pie or cake and savor each bite.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself if you do get off track. Realize it and move on by staying more focused during the remainder of your weekend. Enjoy your holiday food and give yourself power to take charge of your eating if you do slip during one meal.

 The Capital Women’s Care team is here for you if you have any concerns or questions about your family’s travel safety and wishes you an enjoyable, safe and healthy Memorial Day holiday.

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The providers of Capital Women's Care seek the highest quality medical and ethical standard in an environment that nurtures the spirit of caring for every woman.


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