Memorial Day weekend is here, offering all of us an excellent opportunity to unwind with friends and family doing the things we love – like hitting the road for an extended weekend getaway, heading to the community pool, firing up the grill or taking that new boat out for a spin on the lake. With so much fun to be had, it’s a wonder that Memorial Day is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year, with far too many mishaps on the road, in the backyard and many other places.
Fortunately, at SOS Technologies, we’re here to help keep you aware of the biggest hazards – with these tips on your radar, you’ll help increase the likelihood you and yours can stay safe as you enjoy this holiday weekend.
Road Trip Safety
Mistake: “I would check the car out to be on the safe side before we hit the road, but we’re not going that far. It’s just a couple hours. We should get going.”
How many times have you heard this or even said it yourself? Accidents happen closer to home than you think, so don’t mistake a short distance for being necessarily safer.
Memorial Day can always tend to be busier than other times of the year and AAA is projecting that over 38 million Americans are going to travel this Memorial Day weekend, making it the second-highest travel volume on record.
With that higher amount of traffic, there is also a higher risk of car crashes and resulting injuries. In addition to driving defensively and being alert of other vehicles on the road, make sure you’re checking your own car from top to bottom before you start driving.
One key place to check first is around the tires to see to it that they aren’t low on air pressure, including the spare tire if you have one. The standard “penny test” of checking your tires is recommend here – simply place a penny between the tire tread and point it so that Lincoln’s head points downward. If the top of Abe’s head disappears between the tread ribs, your tire tread is probably still well inflated. However, if you see all of Abe’s head, the tire tread isn’t deep enough and the tire may very well need to be replaced.
Whenever they experience an emergency situation, drivers have a wide range of supplies that they wish they had on hand. That’s why it’s smart to pack a Vehicle Safety Kit that acts as your first aid station on the road until first responders arrive on the scene. We offer just such a kit made for vehicles at SOS, providing you essentials like bandages, gauze dressing pads, antibiotic ointment packs, tape rolls and more.
Safety By The Lake (And Pool)
Mistake: “She’s got water wings so she’ll be OK out there in the water. Besides, I’m close by – I’m just going to go say hi to a friend for a few minutes and I’ll be back.”
According to the American Red Cross, water wings or other types of inflatable armbands are not a substitute for true safety devices, making them a dangerous option for adults to rely on for keeping their children safe. In many cases, whether they’re walking on a dock or sitting in a paddleboat as a passenger, children need to be outfitted with a life jacket (and frankly, adults do as well).
We always expect people who are in trouble in any body of water – whether they be adults or children – to cry out for help so we can know they’re might be drowning. That’s a rare occurrence. The reality is that many drowning victims won’t be able to make very much noise at all because they have water intake and are fighting to stay afloat by treading water or doggie paddling. Instead, look for these signs of struggle as well as hanging onto a safety line or being under water for more than 30 seconds. If you think that means you have to constantly keep an eye on your kids, well, you’re absolutely right. A lot can go wrong in a minute if you’re not watching.
In the event of a drowning victim, bring the person on shore and check for breathing by placing your ear next to the person’s mouth. Watch for any up-and-down movement in their chest. If it’s clear that they aren’t breathing, check their pulse for 10 seconds. If there’s no pulse, it’s time to start CPR by performing 30 chest compressions followed by intermittent checks for breathing. However, if you’ve never been fully trained in CPR, it’s time to get that done and it’s easy with our help at SOS.
Mistake: “The setup for this grill is perfect – right near the kitchen window so you can pass burger and dogs to me to put on the grill in no time.”
What would Memorial Day weekend be without grilling? However, while there’s nothing quite like good barbeque, there’s nothing hotter than an open flame. So remember – keep the grill far away from your home since unexpected flare-ups can happen. At least two to three feet away at a minimum.
Some of the more frequent cases of flare-ups that leave the cook literally burned occur when the person lights a grill with a closed lid and then opens that same lid. If you have a gas grill, that’s bad news because the gas will get trapped inside the closed lid. Avoid the fireball by lighting the grill with the lid open. For more grill tips for safety like this, check out our post, “The BBQ Master’s Grilling Safety Companion” on the SOS blog.
Mistake: “It’s only 85 degrees. Sparky will be OK in the car while we’re shopping. Crack the windows.”
We can’t forget about safety for our “best friends” on Memorial Day, especially when we’re taking them with us in the car. In places like Chicago, Memorial Day weekend tends to mark the beginning of a string of 80-degree days, which is great for us humans but not so great for dogs.
Why? A dog left in a car can experience brain damage or even death because their body temperature will rise to an unhealthy level. Remember, it doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside the vehicle – it matters what the temperature isinside. It’s not unusual for temperatures on 80-degree days to soar well past 100 degrees in no time, even if the windows are slightly rolled down. So don’t subject your dog to those conditions. Keep them safe by staying with them and maintaining a cool temperature inside the car at all times.
Safety. It’s For Memorial Day Weekend And Every Day After.
We can’t guarantee when and where accidents happen. But there is one smart way to be ready for anything: Putting the right life saving equipment in place and getting the best training on how to use an AED and perform CPR.
Be there for your family and show them how safety isn’t a special occasion – it’s for every occasion. Start with one of our First Aid Kits from SOS, for example. They’ve got everything you need to stock up and supply first aid quickly and efficiently. So you can focus on delivering care rather than digging for just what you need during precious minutes. Trust SOS for these first aid supplies as well as a range of safety equipment and training by calling 888.705.6100 or emailing us firstname.lastname@example.org.