Enjoy Your Labor Day Weekend: Stay Safe!

By Emily Dwire - 21Alive
By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

August 31, 2013 Updated Aug 31, 2013 at 11:43 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – Labor Day weekend is upon us meaning summer is winding down. The Allen County Department of Health has helpful tips on how to enjoy your extended weekend while staying safe.

Many people are getting together this weekend for picnics, pool parties and barbeques. So if you're going to be outside, remember to put on some insect repellent. West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases are always a threat in the summer, but there is usually an increase in activity in August and September.

Always practice good hygiene while swimming, and keep a close eye on your children when your hanging out near a pool. Drowning continues to be second leading cause of death for children ages one to 19 years old.

While the weather is perfect for cookouts and picnics, it's also ideal growing conditions for bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses. If you're the “grill master” or chef this weekend be sure to monitor food temperatures and avoid cross-contaminating. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold, and use separate cutting boards for meats and produce.

Another reminder—have a little extra patience on the roads this weekend. This year, nearly 34million people are driving to their holiday destinations, making highways and interstates more crowded than ever. The good news is, those drivers are getting more bang for their buck, as this year's gas prices are almost a quarter cheaper than this time a year ago.

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