Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fireworks, Food, and Fun

Fourth of July Safety Tips

While enjoying the fourth of July holiday with your family & friends, it is important to remember a few safety tips to help decrease the risk of injury to your family or others around you. 

·         NEVER allow children to handle fireworks.
·         Fireworks can cause severe burns, injuries, and even death.
o   Lessen the risk of injury from fireworks by attending a professional fireworks show in your community.
o   If fireworks are legal in your county/state for personal use, always keep children a safe distance from the firework launch area.
·         Even fireworks thought to be less dangerous, such as sparklers, can cause severe burns.
o   Sparklers heat up to over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
·         Never attempt to relight a “dud.” Wait at least 20 minutes before picking up any fireworks that fail to light.
o   Prevent fires -- soak all fireworks in water before throwing them in the garbage
§  The National Fire Protection Association reports an estimated 50,000 fires caused by fireworks every year.
·         Have any firework injuries evaluated immediately by a physician.

For many, the 4th of July signals the start to BBQ and grilling season.
·         Thousands of children under the age of 15 are treated every year in Emergency Departments for choking.
o   Hot dogs are the leading food causing choking episodes in children.
§  Cut the hot dog into small pieces before allowing young children to eat them.
§  Other foods which are often the cause of choking: whole grapes, popcorn, nuts, hard candies, and marshmallows.
·         Do not allow children to stand near or play around barbecue grills which are lit or have been lit in the past 3 hours.

  • Remember to use adequate sun protection while outdoors.
    • Wear hats and sunglasses.
    • SPF 15 or greater applied frequently to exposed skin.
  • Bug spray
    • Especially beginning at dusk, use a product with between 10-30% DEET (the active ingredient in most bug sprays), best applied to clothing or only if necessary, on exposed skin. 
    • This is recommended for all persons 2 months of age and older.
        • Infants less than 2 months of age should wear long sleeves, pants, and hats to prevent mosquito and other insect bites.
      • Never apply DEET containing products to the face or hands of children.
  • Water safety
    • All children playing in or around water should know how to swim.
      • Always have an adult supervising any children in water.

Many of these tips and more can be viewed at the American Academy of Pediatrics and National Council for Fireworks Safety

Have a great holiday & stay safe! 

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