Ah, the Fourth of July. A time to grill burgers and hot dogs, take a swim in a nearby lake, spend time with friends and family, and, of course, ooh and ah over fireworks.
The festivities of the Fourth of July make for an extremely fun, but also a potentially dangerous, celebration. Believe it or not, this holiday is one of the busiest days for emergency care centers due to careless, preventable injuries associated with fireworks, barbecues, swimming and hot weather.
The Fourth is particularly risky for young children when they are not properly supervised, as well as, pets that often panic at the celebratory booms of fireworks.
We hope everyone has a safe, happy Fourth of July this year, and to make sure you do, please keep these safety tips in mind as you celebrate this weekend.
- Children should never play with fireworks. Even simple sparklers are dangerous.
- Anyone handling sparklers should make sure to only use them outside and keep them away from face, hair and clothing.
- Don’t hold fireworks in your hand, wear eye protection and make sure to point fireworks away from homes and vegetation to avoid injuries and fires.
- Soak all fireworks in water before throwing them away.
- Do not let children swim unsupervised, especially those who aren’t strong swimmers. If there are any doubts about how well a child can swim, we recommend they wear a life jacket.
- Make sure all adults planning to drink alcohol are drinking responsibly, especially when supervising children in a pool area or near other bodies of water.
- Children and adults should wear waterproof sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher any time they are outside, especially while in the water, and reapply every few hours.
- Keep children away from campfires and grills. Gas leaks, blocked tubes and overfilled propane tanks can be a cause of grill fires and explosions. Open flames present a serious burn risk for anyone who gets too close.
- Never leave food out for more than one hour when the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and not more than two hours at other times.
- While mayonnaise and other egg dishes are often associated with food poisoning, any food can potentially become contaminated. Adequate hand washing and clean food preparation can also help prevent food poisoning.
- Resist the urge to take pets to Fourth of July festivities. Instead, keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.
- If you’re away from home, leave your pets a few creature comforts to help soothe their stress from noisy fireworks.
Be safe, and have a very fun Fourth of July!