Being prepared for a safe Labor Day weekend

Being prepared for a safe Labor Day weekend

Credit: Katherine Sawyer

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by KVUE.com

kvue.com

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 26 at 2:56 PM

AUSTIN -- Labor Day is the time of year to celebrate with friends, family and food but for some those celebrations can become a health risk if you don’t take the proper precautions.

Food contamination is a danger many don’t tend to think about but if you’re feeding friends and family make sure you know what precautions to take.

Dr. Robert Greenberg, M.D., at Scott & White’s Cedar Park Emergency Hospital says to keep raw meat away from fruits or any other dishes that may be served cold to prevent cross contamination. Greenberg also recommends keeping a thermometer nearby to make sure meats are cooked properly. Meats should be cooked at a temperature between 145 – 160 degrees and food should not be left out for more than two hours. If the outside temperature is above 90 degrees that time should drop to no more than one hour.

Forgetting to cover up during the outdoor family party can significantly increase your risk for sun burn.

“A person’s risk for skin cancer doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns at any point in their life,” Dr. Greenberg says.

He recommends wearing a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.

“Clothing can be your most effective form of sun protection, so make the most of it with tightly woven or knit, dark or bright colored fabrics, which offer the best defense,” says Dr. Greenberg.

Wearing sunscreen is also recommended for protection against the harmful rays of the sun. Make sure the sunscreen is water-resistant and that It protects from UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 30 or higher. Dr. Greenberg recommends applying the sunscreen at east 30 minutes before sun exposure so it can be fully absorbed into the skin.

 “A tan, whether you get it on the beach or in a tanning bed, is bad news,” says Dr. Greenberg. “If you have one, you’ve sustained skin cell damage, just as you would if you had burned.” Up to 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun, including wrinkles, leathery skin and brown spots.

And the most important bit of advice -- stay hydrated.

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