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3 Ways to make this 4th of July a safe and happy one

BARBECUE
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Here’s how to have fun and keep your loved ones safe and sound.

Tomorrow is Independence Day and a perfect opportunity to get together and celebrate with family and friends. However, at social gatherings, especially when alcohol is involved, there’s always a risk of accidents when fireworks, barbecues, and water activities are part of the festivities.

In order to keep you and your loved ones safe we have a list of basic precautions to review in order to make sure your day is filled with love and happiness, instead of any trips to the ER.

FRIENDS,SPARKLERS,FOURTH OF JULY
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1
Fireworks

Every year there are tragic deaths and injuries due to fireworks displays. A staggering two-thirds of the 11,000-13,000 firework-related injuries that happen occur around the Fourth, with children 15 and under making up 36% of these injuries. (Fathers and sons should keep in mind that 70 percent of the total injuries happen to males.) As the sales of fireworks increase, so do the risks that go with using them. So keep these safety precautions in mind if you’re hosting or attending a firework display:

  • Keep children away from fireworks — handling or lighting them.
  • Don’t drink alcohol or consume any drugs if handling fireworks.
  • Only light fireworks one at a time, and well away from visitors.
  • Make sure fireworks are not directed at people, indoors, or at flammable objects.
  • Wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
  • Never re-light a firework that doesn’t go off. Wait 20 minutes then carefully place in a bucket of water.
  • Never throw fireworks.
  • Keep a safe distance after lighting.
  • Do not hold a lit firework in your hand.
  • Have a bucket of water at hand in case of emergency.
  • Make sure you buy fully regulated fireworks only.
  • Keep sparklers away from young children; better still think about using glow sticks or other colorful decorations instead.
Zurijeta/Shutterstock

2
Water Safety

Keeping kids safe around water is an all-year preoccupation. And when we see that there are an average of 10 deaths a day in the USA due to unintentional drowning there’s good reason for this. The risk is heightened at social gatherings because adults are often distracted by friends and family and also have a false sense of security thinking there’s safety in numbers. To make sure that your little cherubs are kept safe, we recommend following these tips:

  • Designate swimming pool lifeguards who are not drinking. Then get them to take it in turns to keep their eyes firmly on the pool.
  • If the swimming pool is not in use, make sure any safety measures, such as alarms or fences, are used properly.
  • If older kids are using the pool, make sure it is secured after use — same applies to hot tubs, too.
  • If young children are in the pool, do not rely on inflatables or floats to keep them safe.
  • Keep the pool free from toys if not in use, to avoid tempting children to try and grab them.
  • Make sure you know CPR — cardiopulmonary resuscitation — for worst case scenarios.
  • In all cases make sure you comply with your local ordinances on pool safety.
© Shutterstock

3
Food & Drink Safety

One of the best things about Fourth of July celebrations is getting to share a meal with friends and family. However, cooking for many, and often with warm temperatures, can lead to food poisoning. In fact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are 3,000 deaths each year due to food-borne illnesses. So to avoid any guests leaving the party with food poisoning, we recommend taking the following measures:

  • Preparation is key. Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, then dry on a disposable paper towel.
  • Make sure hands are washed after handling any meat or poultry, as well as any food surfaces or utensils that have been used.
  • Keep any food that needs to be refrigerated in the fridge or well insulated with ice until it is ready to be consumed.
  • Make sure meat is cooked through. You can find a guide here.
  • Keep condiments such as mayonnaise on a tray of ice to keep them nice and cool –and keep the ice topped up.
  • If in doubt it is better to throw away than take the risk of food poisoning.
  • Do not consume food that has been left out in the heat for more than 2 hours, and 1 hour for temperatures above 90°F.

Happy Fourth!

Read more: Christian Roots of Our Fireworks

Read more: For some patriotic praise this July 4, try … the popes?

 

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