Do you really need to have a reason to celebrate summer? We don’t either, and the staff here at Steinger, Greene & Feiner gets outside whenever we can. If you are anything like our families, we know that you love a good cookout. There’s nothing better than a chance to get outdoors and enjoy the day with friends and family.
Unfortunately, with celebrations can come accidents. If you aren’t careful, a guest could become ill or injured. Summer isn’t a time to let your guard down when it comes to your health and safety and that of the people you care about. Here are some tips to keep you and all of your guests safe as you celebrate for whatever reason this season.
If you aren’t going to be celebrating at your own home, scout out your location first. Make sure that there is a source of fresh, clean drinking water available. If there isn’t, bring plenty of bottled water to drink and baby wipes for your hands. If the picnic tables look less than sanitary, buy a cheap vinyl tablecloth from the dollar store and use it to cover the table on the day of your cookout.
Wash your hands before you handle any food. Try to use soap and warm water if you can. If there is no sink available, hand sanitizer or moist towelettes will do in a pinch. Never touch food with dirty hands.
Speaking of food, make sure that no meat leaks into your cooler. Blood and juices seeping into your other foods can contaminate everything in your cooler. If something does happen to leak, consider the other food to be contaminated and throw it out.
Bring along enough utensils to serve and eat food. Do not use the same utensils to serve and to eat. This, again, can cause cross contamination. Cover any food that has been put out, cooked or raw. This will help to prevent insects from invading your food and beverages.
Do not store your perishable foods and beverages in the same cooler. Yes, they both need to stay cold, but the constant opening of the cooler to get to beverages will mean that the cooler is not as cold as it needs to be for your food. Be sure to keep the cooler with your food in it under the table or in another shaded area.
Beat the Heat!
We don’t have to tell you about the humidity that we can experience in Florida. Forget about dry heat; there are days that going outside feels like moving through pudding. You may refuse to let the heat keep you indoors, but you need to be smart about your behaviors. Heat illness and heat stroke can creep up on you quickly if you aren’t paying attention.
Keep in mind that the sun is at its strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. It is during this time of the day that its rays are shining most directly upon us. Unfortunately, this is also the time that your celebration may just be getting started.
The first thing to remember is that you need to drink even if you don’t feel thirsty. Take a drink of water every 15 or 20 minutes to keep yourself hydrated. Fruit juice without sugar added is another good hydration option. The added nutrients will help your body replace what it has lost due to perspiration.
Choosing the right foods can also help you beat the heat or at least fight it back. Cold fruits and vegetables are an excellent option in the summer, as are spicy foods, contrary to what you may believe. Spicy foods will help you sweat, and sweat helps your body cool down. Avoid fatty foods or those with a high sodium content.
Take frequent breaks and make sure your kids do the same. You can help to avoid heat exhaustion by resting in the shade. It’s easy to get caught up in playing games and the like when you are at a cookout, but it is important to sit down and take it easy every once in a while. Find a cool spot in the shade, sit back and grab a drink. Make sure that your kids do the same.
There is no reason that you can’t enjoy a summer celebration with your friends and family, and there is no reason that you or anyone you care about needs to fall ill or injured. Use the tips above and keep the ones close to you safe and healthy this summer no matter what reason you use to throw a party.
If you are injured in Miami or the surrounding area this summer, please call our office. A member of our team will be happy to review the details of your case at no cost to you and advise you of the options you have. Call a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney for more information about our firm and how we can assist you.