While originally established to honor those individuals whom fell in service to their country, Memorial Day has become a family holiday where many enjoy road trips, swimming, barbeques, and boating. Whichever you and your family decide to do, here are some important things to remember this Memorial Day weekend.

Road Trips

  • Click It or Ticket It: The national Click It or Ticket It campaign kicked off this past weekend, and will run until the end of the month. Over 950 law enforcement partners will be supporting the campaign with activities and enforcement hours. Ohio’s seat belt law is a secondary law, which means a police officer cannot stop a driver for the sole purpose of enforcing the use of occupant restraints. This is not a pass to avoid wearing your safety belt, and you will be sited if pulled over or at a sobriety checkpoint. Children are required to be buckled in at all times – and that is a law in all states.
  • Pre-flight Checks: Make sure your vehicle has recently had its routine maintenance, and double-check everything before you take off on the road. Proper tire pressure, working warning and headlights, topped off fluids, and emergency kit should be in great shape before you begin your trip.
  • Are you sleepy?: If so, don’t drive. Drowsy drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers, and getting a good night sleep before any road trip should be an automatic requirement. A caffeinated beverage or quick exercise break is not a viable substitute for a good night’s sleep.
  • Don’t Drink & Drive: Simple and straight to the point. Whether out at a bar, barbeque, or at home, getting behind the wheel after a couple drinks is never a good idea. Call a cab, family member, or friend – who is sober – for the safe ride home.

Barbeque

  • Maintain a healthy diet, and don’t over indulge. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and potato salad might sound good, but mix in some fruit and fresh vegetables as well.
  • Make sure you check the hoses and tubes for cracks on your gas grill to avoid any leaks, which could be ignited by an open flame.
  • If using a charcoal grill, avoid using them in the home or confined space. Not only is it a fire hazard, but the carbon monoxide can build up to toxic levels.

Swimming & Boating

  • Make sure you know the depth of the water you decide to swim, and make sure there is a lifeguard on duty in case of an emergency.
  • Take sunscreen with a SPF rating of at least 15, and apply it to all parts of exposed skin 30 minutes prior to going out. Taking an extra pair of UV protected sunglasses is a good idea as well.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or beverages with electrolytes. Avoid drinking alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, as they will cause you to dehydrate fast. There is very little danger however, to eating before jumping in the pool.
  • When out boating, make sure you have life jackets for everyone. File a boat plan, like a flight plan, with someone you trust in case something happens.
  • Keep your eye on the weather and waves if out in open water. There are many instances of rouge waves and the weather changing without notice, turning your weekend boating trip into a nightmare.