Memorial Day was officially declared a national holiday in 1971. However, Americans have observed the day, honoring members of the U.S. military who have given their lives in the service of their nation, since the late 19th century. Today, in addition to honoring the country’s fallen heroes, many Americans use Memorial Day weekend as an opportunity to gather with friends and family and engage in favorite summertime activities.
Unfortunately, many of these activities come with inherent safety risks. From extra traffic on the roads during one of the year’s busiest travel weekends to insect and sun exposure during hours spent outside to avoiding foodborne illness when firing up the grill for the first time this season, there are many opportunities for Memorial Day plans to go awry.
We discussed some potential hazards of the holiday as well as tips for avoiding Memorial Day mishaps during a Twitter chat today. PBS Food (@PBSFood) and PBS Parents (@pbsparents) joined the conversation to share their advice. Nichole Steffens (@nicsteffens), the national aquatic product manager for the American Red Cross, also joined the discussion to share water and swimming safety tips. Below is a recap of that conversation: