Staying safe this Memorial Day weekend

May 24, 2021


With Memorial Day weekend around the corner, many people are looking forward to outdoor events and spending time with loved ones. To fully enjoy the long weekend, make sure you take a few extra precautions to keep everyone safe.

Sun safety

With weather warming up and the days lasting longer, many people are spending extra time in the sun. But while tanning can be tempting, you shouldn’t mess around with skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of preventable cancer in the United States, in part because the sun is sneaky. The sun’s rays can still have damaging effects in cloudy weather, through windows and reflecting off water or sand.

To keep your whole family sun-safe this holiday weekend:

  • Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Make sure sunscreen is water-resistant and that you reapply every two hours. And make sure you are using enough—you should use about two tablespoons worth of sunscreen to cover your whole body.
  • Cover up with sun-protective gear. Choose clothing that has extra ultraviolet (UV) protection. Wear a hat, sunglasses and cover your legs and arms if you can.
  • Seek shade as much as possible, especially when the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Try to avoid getting sunburned and avoid laying out to tan. Pay special attention to babies—keep newborns out of the sun entirely; use sunscreen on children older than 6 months.

Water safety

If your weekend plans include swimming or boating, take the extra steps to keep everyone safe around the water. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to swim before going out on a boat. If you are swimming in a pool, lake or ocean, always stay within an arm’s reach of young children or newer swimmers.

Ensure you are also following these few guidelines:

  • Use protective gear such as life jackets that fit properly.
  • Make sure you have fences, gates or other barriers around pools or any water access points
  • If you’re on a boat, make sure more than one person knows how to operate it.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while boating or swimming. Identify a “sober skipper” or designated driver.
  • Brush up on your CPR and basic first aid. Hopefully, you won’t need to use it, but it’s important to know when to call 911!

COVID-19 safety

As you celebrate this Memorial Day, remember to stay COVID-safe. You can protect yourself and others by:

  • Gathering in small groups and choosing outdoor settings.
  • Practicing social distancing with friends or family members who are not vaccinated.
  • Wearing a face covering while indoors with non-vaccinated loved ones and in large groups.

Stay your safest this spring and summer by getting vaccinated. Everyone over the age of 16 is now eligible. Search for a vaccine appointment by visiting:

  • California: My Turn is an easy way to search for vaccination events and available appointments near you. To check your eligibility, visit:
  • Hawaii: For information related to Hawaii’s vaccination roll-out and to check your eligibility, visit:
  • Oregon: Oregon Health Authority has an online tool to help you arrange a vaccine appointment. To check your eligibility, visit: