Memorial Day weekend kicked off one of our favorite seasons – picnic season! There aren’t many things better than getting together with friends and family for food and fun. But with summer comes a lot of danger, also. Especially as you age. Don’t let a fun family get-together turn into an emergency situation. Follow these simple tips for fun in the sun.
- Make sure the venue is friendly for everyone
If you or other picnic guests need a venue that is wheelchair-friendly or provides a lot of shade, be sure to take that into consideration when you are making your reservation. If you are a resident at Sherwood Oaks, we have a picnic area for you to use, and can even cater your event! There are picnic tables, grills, and outdoor games for your use, or you can move the event inside to our Oak Lodge Great Room in case of rain.
- Make sure perishable items are stored in a cooler
If you are taking meat to grill to an offsite location, make sure that it is kept cool on your journey so that you don’t end up with very sick picnic guests! If you will be grilling close to home, keep these items in the refrigerator until you’re ready to plop them on the grill!
- Use a food thermometer
The best way to make sure that your meat is cooked to perfection is to check its temperature with a food thermometer. Here is a handy guide from the food network to help you make sure that the burgers you are serving are safe for hungry picnic-goers.
- Remember sunscreen!
Don’t try to get a nice summer tan. The higher the level of protection, the better! Review our guide to making healthy decisions this spring and make sure you’re covered!
- Bring hand sanitizer or wet wipes
The great outdoors involve a lot of dirty things. Even if you don’t realize it, getting your hands dirty could be very dangerous if you sneak a chip or piece of watermelon. To help keep germs at bay for everyone at the picnic, be sure to have antibacterial wipes or liquid hand sanitizer nearby, just in case you don’t have immediate access to a sink and soap.
- Drink plenty of water
Dehydration is a major risk for seniors, so it is important to drink plenty of water when you’re going to be outside for extended periods of time. If you don’t like water, try adding some flavoring to it, or flavor it naturally with fruit!
- Find shade if you need it
If you feel like you are getting overheated in the sun, move to the shade or go inside to enjoy some air conditioning. Heat stroke can come on quickly and be extremely dangerous to your health. Your family and friends will understand if you have to miss out on some of the fun to cool down.
- Make up a first aid kit
A simple first aid kit will have you prepared for a wide array of situations that may pop up, from mosquito bites to minor cuts. It’s smart to keep these handy:
- Band aids
- Insect repellant
- Antiseptic cream
- Extra sunscreen
- Bug bite cream
- Larger bandages
- Cloth tape and sterile gauze
- Disposable gloves
- Ibuprofen or another pain reliever
- Ice packs
- An antihistamine
- Know your medicine
Some medicines have an adverse reaction when you spend time in the sun. Your skin can become inflamed and red, looking almost like a sunburn. In photoallergenic reactions, these symptoms can end up being very long lasting. Don’t take the risk. Check the labels of your medication and ask you’re doctor if you aren’t sure about how any of your medications will react with the sun.
With your health in check, it’s time to pack that picnic basket with hot dogs and potato salad!