Happy Independence Day! If you have the day off, enjoy it outside. Whether you are going to see the Austin Symphony Orchestra perform during the fireworks display, going on a picnic or BBQ, or just spending some time with the family, here are some tips to keep in mind for the hot weather.
- Stay hydrated. Be sure to drink water in order to stay hydrated in the heat. Soda, tea, coffee, and other beverages are dehydrating, so stick to pure water or flavored water.
- Avoid cross-contamination. If you are outside grilling, keep raw meat separated from other foods and don’t use the same utensils or cutting boards to handle the meat and everything else. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. If you have had a food out of the refrigerator for over two hours, even if it has been in a cooler, toss it.
- Pack a picnic. For an easy, fun dinner, pack a picnic and take it with you to watch the fireworks. Keep it simple – one drink, a main course, a side dish or two, and a no-mess dessert. Popular picnic classics include lemonade, iced tea, sandwiches, mac and cheese, potato salad, brownies, and cupcakes.
- Don’t forget! If you are outside, you might need: bug spray, sunscreen, a blanket to sit on, trash bags, moist towelettes, eating utensils, water, and toys, like Frisbees and footballs, to play with.
- Stay in the shade. The shade is always cooler than being in direct sunlight. Whether you are picnicking, watching fireworks, or just spending some time at the park, try to come early and find a shady spot to sit in.
- Always apply sunscreen. Getting a sunburn is not just an uncomfortable experience, but it increases your risk for skin cancer. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every hour or two.
- Most importantly – have fun! Spend some time with friends or family and be sure to relax.
Have a happy 4th of July and stay safe! If you are looking for fun things to do in your area, check out this website for local activities: http://www.freefuninaustin.com/2012/06/4th-of-july-events-in-austin-and-beyond.html
How are you planning on spending your 4th of July? Let us know in the comments.