Happy 4th of July – Prepare to be Patriotic!
From the CDC’s Public Health Matters Blog
The 4th of July is a day to celebrate Uncle Sam, enjoy the summer weather, and spend time with family and friends. Keep these five things in mind as you plan your 4th of July celebration.
Prevent fireworks injuries
Fireworks can cause death and injury, including burns, cuts, bruises, and foreign objects in your eyes.
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
- Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper, which often means they were made for professional displays and could be dangerous for consumers.
- Make sure you and your family watch fireworks displays from a safe distance.
- Call 911 immediately if someone is injured from fireworks.
Beat the heat
In hot temperatures your body may be unable to properly cool itself. This could lead to serious health problems.
- Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
- Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
- Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Put on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher – the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels.
- Stay in the shade!
Don’t let a stomach bug slow you down
The summer months typically see a spike in reports of foodborne illness. Keep the food safe at your 4th of July picnic or BBQ.
- Use separate plates and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry and ready to eat foods, like raw fruits and vegetables.
- Use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked hot enough to kill harmful germs.
- Don’t leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours – one hour if the outside temperature is over 90 degrees. Keep perishable food in an insulated cooler packed with ice or ice packs.
Prepare to take the plunge
Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1 to 4 years old than any other cause except birth defects.
- Designate a responsible adult to watch all children swimming or playing in or around water. Drowning occurs quickly and quietly, so adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity while supervising children.
- Teach kids to swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning.
- Always swim with a buddy. Whenever possible choose swimming sites that have lifeguards.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
- Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are dangerous.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents that contain at least 20% DEET for protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and a hat. Tuck your shirt into your pants, and tuck your pants into your socks for maximum protection.
- Check yourself and your children for ticks. Ticks are easy to remove.
You can find more tips for a safe and healthy summer on the CDC website. Happy 4th of July!
This article was originally published on the CDC’s Public Health Matters Blog and is republished here with permission.