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HEALTH Encourages Rhode Islanders to Enjoy a Healthy Holiday Weekend

PROVIDENCE The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) reminds all Rhode Islanders that a few simple steps can help keep them and their families healthy during upcoming holiday weekend celebrations.

"Many people will be enjoying the unofficial end of summer this weekend and we want to make sure those celebrations are safe and healthy," said Michael Fine, MD, director of HEALTH. "We hope people will get outside, get some physical activity and enjoy time with family and friends."

All Rhode Islanders are encouraged to:

Protect skin from the sun. Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection before going outside even if it's cloudy

Minimize tick and mosquito exposure. Mosquitoes are most active at sunrise and sundown, so outdoor activities should be limited at these times. If you will be outside at these times, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and bug spray (no more than 30 percent DEET). Tuck pants into socks if you'll be gardening, or walking through woods or tall grass to minimize exposure to ticks

Check for ticks. Be sure to check the entire body for ticks each day, especially the hairline, around the waist and under the arms

Keep food safe. Meat and poultry should be refrigerated until it is ready to be grilled. Raw ground beef, pork, lamb and veal should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, while poultry should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Use a meat thermometer to test temperatures

Swim safely. Never swim alone, and never leave young children or non-swimmers unattended. Be sure that non-swimmers wear life jackets or other approved flotation devices

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Related links

Department or agency: Department of Health

Online: http://www.health.ri.gov

Release date: 08-30-2012

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