LDH shares water and heat safety tips ahead of Memorial Day weekend

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The Louisiana Department of Health has shared some tips and reminders ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

“Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer with out-of-school children and families and friends coming together, and we want everyone to have a fun and safe weekend,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, state health official, in a press release.

LDH says when planning an event with a lot of people, outdoor events are safer because everyone can disperse. People who are at higher risk of COVID-19 should take additional measures such as wearing a mask indoors.

The summer heat raises awareness of water and heat safety. When children are near water, they should be supervised. LDH reports that 25% of infants and children died by drowning last year. Children should be kept away from pool drains, pipes and other openings so that they are not trapped.

“Swim in designated swimming areas and exercise extreme caution around natural bodies of water which may have unpredictable currents and undertows,” says LDH. Find more information on pool safety here.

During this time of year, children, the elderly, and pets need to be kept cool, as even a short spell of extreme heat can result in a trip to the ER. LDH says to dress in lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink water throughout the day and eat smaller meals more often.

As for the Memorial Day celebration, LDH says adults should handle the fireworks. The state health department suggests lighting fireworks outdoors on a flat, smooth surface away from homes, dry leaves, or other flammable materials, and never relighting a fire. fireworks or put a body part on it.

“With COVID cases on the rise, we want to make sure everyone stays alert and up-to-date on their vaccines, takes extra care when in or around water, and drinks plenty of fluids to help cope with excessive heat. I urge everyone to follow a few simple but essential steps to keep you and your children safe this weekend and into the summer,” Kanter said.