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Westchester County Health Department Offers Memorial Day Safety Tips

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WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Department of Health and Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler are providing tips for residents to safely celebrate Memorial Day and the summer.

“Heat stroke and dehydration can take you by surprise,” Amler said. “The elderly, young children and those with high blood pressure, heart disease, or lung conditions must be especially careful to avoid heat-related illnesses. High humidity and some medications can also increase a person’s risk for heat stroke.”

Here are 11 more tips:

  • Drink water or uncaffeinated beverages every hour or two to avoid heat exhaustion and take breaks from the sun. Signs of heat exhaustion include headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and exhaustion, as well as cool, moist, pale or flushed skin. Move out of the sun and apply cool, wet cloths to the skin.
  • Spray insect repellent containing DEET on your clothes and exposed skin to avoid mosquito bites, and follow the directions on the label.
  • Empty out standing water from all outdoor containers to keep mosquitoes from breeding; add a small amount of bleach to birdbaths.
  • Avoid attracting animals by collecting and disposing of food and litter.
  • Perform tick checks on people and pets after spending time outdoors. To remove ticks safely, follow the steps at
  • Barbecue by thawing meat and poultry slowly in the refrigerator or under cold running water before cooking.
  • Transport food safely by packing it into a cooler filled with ice to keep it at 40 degrees or below.
  • Cook your food to the right temperature, which is 160 degrees for ground beef and pork, 165 degrees for chicken and hot dogs should be cooked to steaming hot.
  • Discard any food left out for more than two hours after cooking, or one hour if it more than 90 degrees outside.
  • Don’t cross-contaminate. Don’t reuse marinades on cooked food unless you boil them first, and don’t use the same plate, cutting board and utensils for vegetables or for cooked food that you used for raw meat.
  • Wash hands, surfaces and utensils frequently with soap and water or antiseptic wipes.

For more information, like the Westchester County Health Department at , follow us on Twitter @wchealthdept, visit or call 914-813-5000.

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