NEWS RELEASE--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: May 21, 2014
Contact: Niki Forbing-Orr
Public Information Officer
Media Line: (208) 334-0668
Prepare for a safe and fun holiday weekend
Friday, May 23, kicks off Memorial Day weekend and the launch of summer outdoor activities. As everyone prepares for the coming months of travel, outdoor recreation and summer adventures, a few health tips can help make your activities fun and rewarding.
Travel safety — Every hour, there are an average of two traffic accidents in our state, with too many resulting in fatalities. Aggressive driving contributes to almost half of all motor vehicle deaths. From Memorial Day throughout the summer, more vehicles will be traveling Idaho roads, so be patient and arrive safely. Other travel safety tips include:
Food safety is always important, and the summer heat can present special considerations. An estimated 1 in 6 people suffer from foodborne illnesses each year. To avoid unpleasant episodes of food poisoning or foodborne illness, remember to:
Sun Safety — More than 2 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year in the United States, which is more than new cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. Idaho has one of the highest melanoma rates in the nation, with nearly 1,600 invasive melanoma cases and more than 200 deaths in the last five years. Every time we sunburn, we increase our risk for skin cancer. It is easy to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays of the sun:
Water safety — At this time of year, the water in Idaho’s rivers, lakes and reservoirs can be extremely cold and hazardous. Plan your boating and swimming trips carefully to avoid fast-moving and dangerous waters. Twenty-two people died from accidental drowning in Idaho during 2013.* Take these precautions to be safe:
Mosquito and tick prevention -- The bites of mosquitoes and ticks can spread disease. Protect yourself and your family:
National Moment of Remembrance: Don’t forget what Memorial Day is about. At 3 p.m. local time on Monday, May 26, observe a minute of silence to honor those who died in service to our country.
Be prepared this Memorial Day weekend. Idaho’s diverse geography and sunny climate offers endless outdoor opportunities, but accidents or unexpected events can occur at any time. Carry a first-aid kit and enough food and water for an emergency. Always let friends or relatives know your travel plans. With a little bit of planning and by taking precautions, your outdoor experiences can be treasured for a lifetime.
*Data on 2013 drowning deaths is preliminary and may change.
Editors: For more information or interviews please contact Niki Forbing-Orr at 334-0668, or your District Health Department Public Information Officer.