The Florida Department of Health in Marion County is offering several water, sun, and food-related safety tips for residents and visitors so they can enjoy a safe and healthy Memorial Day weekend.
Each year, many children drown during summer holiday weekends. DOH-Marion states that awareness of the basic principles of water safety, combined with an understanding of water hazards, can increase enjoyment and significantly reduce drowning deaths each year.
- Always keep your eyes on children in and around water, including pools and open bodies of water. Actively supervising and giving children your undivided attention when they are in or around water can help prevent drownings.
- Never leave a child alone around water.
- If your child is missing, check other pools or surrounding bodies of water.
- Use barriers around water, such as fences, self-closing/self-latching gates, and secure doors with alarms. Barriers help prevent young children from wandering into bodies of water, including lakes, pools, ponds, and more.
- Seek shade when the sun is at its strongest, which is typically between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 on all parts of exposed skin before you go outside. Remember to reapply every two hours after swimming or sweating.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and the delicate skin around your eyes from sun exposure.
- You can wear light, long-sleeved shirts for additional protection.
- Before and after handling raw meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Separate raw food to prevent cross contamination. Use one cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and seafood, and another for vegetables and fruits.
- Cook all foods to the proper temperature by using a food thermometer.
- Baking sweets might come with the temptation of eating dough or batter, but that is not safe.
- Make sure to refrigerate perishable food within two hours. If the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, chill food within one hour.
For more information, visit the Florida Department of Health in Marion County’s website.