Water, Sun, and Food Safety
With warm weather comes more opportunities to explore new places, spend time outdoors, and share quality time with friends and family. Swimming, walking, or having a picnic are just some of the many things you can do together during the summer. To enjoy these activities safely and accident-free, make sure to keep these tips in mind:
>>Supervise your kids, as well as other children, when playing or swimming in the ocean, lakes, rivers, or pools.
>>Only use life jackets certified by the US Coast Guard.
>>Avoid swimming in rough or deep water.
>>Respect "No Swimming" signs.
>>To prevent choking, make sure children do not eat or chew gum in the water.
>>If your home has a swimming pool, install a protective fence around it. Be sure to place a cover on the pool when it's not in use.
>>Take cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes to help people who are drowning or choking.
Protection against sun and heat
>>To avoid dehydration or heat exhaustion, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, or too much sugar.
>>Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Also wear sunglasses and a hat that covers your face and ears.
>>Apply sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher a half an hour before any sun exposure. Reapply several times a day, or according to the product directions.
>>Keep your lips hydrated with a lip balm that contains sunscreen.
>>Avoid direct sun exposure when ultraviolet (UV) rays are at their strongest (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
>>Try to spend the majority of your time protected by cool, shady areas.
>>If you're camping or you plan to do any outdoor cooking, use a cooler with ice to keep your food refrigerated. Make sure to keep the cooling temperature at 40 degrees or lower.
>>Wash your hands thoroughly before handling any food.
>>To avoid cross contamination, separate raw meat from other food, and place meat on its own plate or tray.
>>Make sure meats are cooked and served at an internal temperature of 140 degrees or higher.
>>Immediately refrigerate or freeze any leftovers. Don't leave perishable foods out in the open for longer than two hours.
>>To avoid getting food poisoning, follow these tips for eating safely at fairs and festivals.
For more information about food safety, contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854.