For many Americans, Labor Day represents a time to bid farewell to summer with backyard cookouts, beach and boat trips, back-to-school parties and other forms of recreation. While you're planning your holiday shindig, think about safety; accidents of all kinds spike over Labor Day weekend. Discuss safety topics with your friends and family and come up with ways to make your holiday celebration a safe one.
At the time of publication, the National Safety Council estimates that Labor Day car accidents injure more than 42,000 people annually. It issued tips on how you can drive safer on this high-traffic holiday. Some tips include avoiding distractions such as cell phones and other technology, ensuring that everyone is buckled in and allowing plenty of time for travel. Other tips include driving defensively and being on the lookout for unsafe drivers as well as avoiding drinking and driving. It's also a good idea to take your car in for a routine checkup before you head out on any road trips.
If you plan on firing up the grill on Labor Day weekend, make your holiday cookout a safe one. Always check your grill for blocked tubes, cracked hoses or other damage before you start. Because there are many ways to light a grill and many different types of grills, it's crucial to read and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Charcoal chimney starters and electric chimney starters allow you to light the grill without lighter fluid. If you have to use lighter fluid, douse the charcoal evenly to get it started and never add lighter fluid to already burning coals. If you need more coals, douse the addition coal in fluid and then add it to the other coals.
Because many people go swimming and boating over the Labor Day weekend, water safety is a major topic. Whether you're at the beach or at home in your own pool, have children and inexperienced swimmers wear flotation devices. Buddy young swimmers up with teens or adults and ensure that children are constantly supervised. If you're going boating, have emergency flotation devices for everyone on board and obey posted boating laws. Always have a trained person operate the boat and be on the lookout for other boats and people. In addition, never let anyone drink and operate a watercraft.
All fireworks have the potential to cause injury if they malfunction or are mishandled. Even seemingly innocent sparklers can cause burns or eye injuries. Although many states allow consumers to use fireworks without a permit, the safest way to enjoy them is to attend a professional fireworks event in your area. If you decide to use your own fireworks, set up a barrier to keep children and bystanders a safe distance away from where you light them. Only allow adults to light fireworks, always wear protective eye-wear and have a fire extinguisher on hand. Check and follow the fireworks laws for your county.
- National Safety Council: Evaluation of Recent Labor Day Holiday Period Estimates
- U.S. Army MWR: Labor Day Safety Tips
- Red Cross: Red Cross Issues Safety Tips for Labor Day Weekend
- Mount Sinai Blog: Eye Safety Tips Over Labor Day Weekend
- National Fire Protection Association: Grilling Safety
- American Pyrotechnics Association: Directory of State Laws
- Photo Credit AlexRaths/iStock/Getty Images
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