Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer and time for a cookout, weekend at the beach or outing on the water. A few precautions will help keep it a safe holiday weekend for friends and family.
Sun Safety — Long periods of time in the outdoors lead to risk of burns and heat-related illnesses. To minimize risk, follow these simple tips:
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 to protect against harmful UVA and reapply often.
- Wear sunglasses that absorb at least 90 percent of ultraviolet sunlight to protect the eyes from the sun's rays and glare coming off the water.
- Drink plenty of fluids, fruit juice or sports beverages to replace salts and minerals lost during heavy sweating.
Food Safety — Follow these easy tips to keep everyone safe from food-borne illness.
- Wash hands and surfaces to avoid cross-contaminating raw meat with other foods.
- Keep coolers at 40 F that contain perishable items such as meat. Keep drinks in a separate cooler, since it will be opened more often.
- Take-out foods like fried chicken or barbecue should be eaten within two hours of purchase or thoroughly chilled before adding to the cooler and transporting.
- To be sure bacteria are destroyed, cook hamburgers and ribs to 160 F or until the center is no longer pink and the juices are clear. Cook ground poultry to 165 F and poultry parts to 180 F.
Boat and Beach Safety — Remember these tips when enjoying the beach and boating activities this weekend:
- If caught in a rip current, stay calm, don't fight the current. Escape by swimming in a direction following the shoreline. When free of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
- Lightning can strike up to five miles away from the main storm cloud. If thunder is heard, leave the beach or return to shore if out on a boat.
- Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets regardless of the distance to be traveled, the size of the boat or the swimming ability of boaters; life jackets can reduce risk for weaker swimmers too.
- Supervise children, swim with a buddy and avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating or participating in water sports.
Employee Wellness events
- Lunchtime Losers: The next class will be held from noon – 1 p.m., Sept. 6 at the Institute of Psychiatry. This is a 10-week lifestyle change weight loss class intended to teach behavior changes that will promote healthy eating, healthy exercise and weight loss. Email email@example.com to enroll.
- MUSC's Pitch the Pack Program: Free smoking cessation program offered to MUSC employees and students. Classes, counseling and a one-month supply of medications are available to eligible participants. Receive a complementary success kit at enrollment filled with gifts. Enroll at http://ceii.muschealth.com/SCP/SCPRegistration.aspx.
- Zumba at Harborview Office Tower: Join licensed Zumba instructor Felecia Curry for a weekly Wednesday night Zumba class held from 5 – 6 p.m. in Room 910, Harborview Office Tower. Zumba is a dance-based aerobic exercise class. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 822-6136 for more information or to register.
- Farmers market: Fresh fruits and vegetables are available from local farmers from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Friday in the Horseshoe and in the area next to Ashley River Tower.
Contact Susan Johnson, Ph.D., at email@example.com for information on the Office of Health Promotion and Suzan Benenson Whelan at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about Employee Wellness.