5 Ways to Enjoy Your Memorial Day Weekend

Today I am going to tell you how to have a safe Memorial Day by giving you sunscreen tips, tick removal advice, natural mosquito repellent and more.  

Memorial Day (formerly known as Decoration Day) originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers. Today, Memorial Day is a time where we can remember and pay respects to those men and women that have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  Memorial Day weekend has marked the start of summer and many people plan outings to kick-off the start of their summer vacation.  The kids are out of school, the campers are packed and ready to go, and excitement is in the air.  I want to leave you with 5 quick tips to help make your Memorial Day safer and more enjoyable!

We are deeply indebted for the sacrifice that so many men and women have made for our freedom.


Sunscreen Rules

Our body needs adequate sun exposure in order to manufacture vitamin D.  A sunscreen of even an SPF8 can block up 90% of your body’s ability to synthesize vitamin D from the sun.  Too many parents are lathering their kids up with sunscreen and sending them outside where they are not getting adequate sun exposure.  What’s worse is they they are being lathered up with toxic sunscreen that is damaging their health.  Here’s some basic sunscreen rules:

  • Get about 20 minutes of adequate sun exposure each day.  After this time in the sun then apply sunscreen if necessary.
  • Use long sleeves and wide brimmed hats when possible to block the sun.
  • If you do use sunscreen make sure that yours is safe by visiting the EWG’s Report on 2012 Healthy Sunscreens.


If you are camping be cautious for ticks.  Areas of Minnesota have a high number of ticks in the population that can transmit Lyme disease.  Most of the ticks in North Dakota are wood ticks where the risk of Lyme disease is less, but still possible.  Knowing how to safely remove ticks is important.  Here are some need to know tick tips:

  • Don’t use matches, cigarettes, soap, petroleum jelly, hairspray, etc in attempt to get the ticks out.
  • Purchase a pair of fine tipped tweezers that are found in the cosmetic section of most stores.
  • Firmly grasp the tick head and body (but don’t squeeze the body too hard where it pushes the contents through the tick’s mouth and into your body!).  
  • Use steady, gentle pressure to pull the tick out. If you pull too fast you will separate the head from the body and have problems. By gently pulling with steady pressure the tick will back its head out of your skin.
  • Make sure you get the WHOLE tick including the head with removal.
  • Don’t squish the tick once removed because there are other diseases that can be transmitted.  Dispose of properly.
  • Clean and disinfect the bite area.  Consider using something like Betadine to clean the area.

If you are bitten by a tick and you notice any of these symptoms you should go in for medical attention to start antibiotic therapy right away:

  • Fever and/or joint pain within a few hours to a couple of days later.
  • “Bulls eye” red rash surrounding the tick bite.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting within a few hours to days later after tick bite.
  • Redness, swelling, or signs of obvious infection at the bite location.

Safe Food Preparation

Most camping involves a good grill-out.  Make sure you cook your meat thoroughly and wash any utensils or items that have been used in raw meat preparation.  If packing coolers for the trip, use a different cooler for your fruits and vegetables.  This will separate from the raw meats and prevent cross-contamination.  An inexpensive meat thermometer is a nice thing to use at home and when camping.  Make sure to wash your hands after handling raw meat.

Mosquito Repellent 

Mosquitoes are pests…big pests, but since they are the state bird of North Dakota, we unfortunately have to put up with them.  Many of the repellents commonly used for mosquitoes are toxic to humans.  There are some safer options that are effective in keeping the mosquitoes away.

  • I really like the Buzz Away products that work well and are safer options.
  • Vanilla extract mixed with water and sprayed on the skin. (This helps keep bees away too).
  • A homemade recipe from DIY Natural…I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks like a good option.
  • Frankincense and myrrh essential oils also work well to repel mosquitoes.  We use, and carry in our office, Young Living essential oils.

Show Gratitude

Take a moment to respect those that have sacrificed for you to enjoy your Memorial Day.  Teach your children the importance of this holiday.  Remember those that have passed on before you and have had a significant impact in your life.  We have much to be thankful for and I pray that God continues to bless the USA.  

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)

Do you have any Memorial Day traditions you would be willing to share with us?  If so, leave a comment below.

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