It’s always fun to spend time with friends and family this holiday weekend, but it’s also important to know the safety risks that we can run into. Every year fun family gatherings end with injury or death because of pyrotechnic devices. Most of these injuries involve children and teens. Unfortunately many of these end up with amputation of a limb or loss of vision due to handling. Follow these tips to stay safe!
Enjoying a firework display done by the professionals is the best (and safest way) to enjoy the holiday, but if you insist on using fireworks here are somethings you should keep in mind.
Sparklers are also a popular activity, especially with children. They can reach temperatures of 2,000 degrees (yikes!)
- Follow the instructions on the packaging (ALWAYS!)
- Keep a supply of water nearby just in case
- Use eye protection if lighting fireworks
- Light only one at a time
- Never throw or even point a firework at people, animals, structures or flammable material
- Keep away from children!
- If burned, cool the area immediately with clean water and wrap in a clean, dry towel
- If burned area has bubbled up or is very tender, then you will need antibiotic salve and possibly even an update of a tetanus shot and should go to the ER immediately after cooling the area
The Fourth of July weekend has one of the highest rates of drunk driving accidents! Be safe or have another way of transportation. Remember, many communities will have an increased police presence and DUI checkpoints set up. Here are some tips to follow:
- Always wear your seat belt
- Observe the speed limit
- Pay attention to the road (more people are outside and children and dogs are more likely to run into the street)
- Use caution in work zones (remember fines are doubled!)
- Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to improve vision at night
- Turn the headlights on in inclement weather or as it gets darker out
- DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE
Everyone loves a grilled meal on the Fourth, but here’s what you should keep in mind to make sure it turns out smoothly…
- Always supervise a grill when in use
- Make sure pets and children stay away
- Keep the grill out in the open away from your house, trees or anything else that could catch on fire
- Stay safe by using long-handled utensils made for cooking
- Make sure meat is cooked at 145 degrees for whole cuts/seafood and 160 for ground meats and 165 degrees for poultry.
- Avoid cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked meats (use different plates and utensils)
While this weekend might be enjoyable for you and your family, it can be a traumatic time for your pets. Here’s what you can do to keep them safe:
- Never keep alcoholic drinks unattended on surfaces that your pet can reach
- Don’t spray bug repellent or even sunscreen near dogs! Some contain chemicals that can make them sick.
- Keep matches and lighter fluids away
- Never put glow jewelry on pets
- Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products away from pets
- Like children, it’s important to keep fireworks away from your pets!
- If you aren’t home, keep your pet in their create or in an escape proof room (many are terrified of the sound of fireworks and sparklers — an increased amount of dogs run away from home on the fourth of July weekend.)
We hope you and your family have a safe (and fun!) holiday weekend!