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Make A Safe Splash This Memorial Day!

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

May 27, 2016

Florida Health Logo

May 27, 2016



Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla.—As Florida families kick off the unofficial start to summer this Memorial Day weekend, the Florida Department of Health reminds residents and visitors to enjoy their favorite summer activities, especially swimming and grilling, safely. The department encourages the public to follow safe and healthy swim practices to prevent injury and drownings and to utilize safe grilling techniques to prevent home fires.

“Swimming is a great way to stay active and keep cool during hot summer months, but it is essential families take precautions to ensure the water is safe and that an adult is designated to keep an eye on young swimmers,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. Celeste Philip. “Grilling is also a favorite summer pastime that is best enjoyed a safe distance away from homes to prevent fires.”

The department works to keep residents and visitors safe during the summer by conducting routine inspections of public pools to ensure they meet sanitation and safety standards and making the reports available to the public. To access the latest inspection reports for public pools and water playgrounds near you, click here. Additionally, the Florida Healthy Beaches program samples water weekly from beaches along the coast and reports water quality. Residents and visitors are also reminded to avoid contact with visible algae in the water.

Along with learning about the water quality of pools and beaches, families can learn healthy and safe swim practices to prevent injury or drowning. By incorporating layers of protection, including supervision, barriers and emergency preparedness, pool-goers can swim safely and securely. For more information and to download a Water Watcher tag, visit

Follow these simple steps for a safe and healthy swim experience:

  • Shower with soap before you get in the water;
  • Don't swallow the water you swim in;
  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea;
  • Parents should take children on bathroom breaks every 60 minutes;
  • Wash your hands after visiting the bathroom or changing diapers; and
  • Visit your local hardware or pool-supply store and purchase pool test strips to check the chlorine and pH levels before getting into the water.

When firing up the grill this summer, take safety precautions to reduce the risk of a fire. More than one-quarter of home fires started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, according to a National Fire Protection Association report. Additionally, make sure your cooking area is clean, cook foods to the proper and safe temperature and discard perishable items that have been out of the refrigerator longer than two hours.

Here are some tips to ensure a safe grilling experience:

  • All grills should only be used outdoors;
  • The grill should be placed away from buildings, deck railings and out from under overhanging trees or objects;
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the area;
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or buildup from the grates and in the bottom tray;
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature; 145 degrees for whole meats, 160 degrees for ground meats and 165 degrees for all poultry; and
  • Never leave the grill unattended.

For healthy recipes to use while grilling outdoors, visit Healthiest Weight Florida.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit


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