It’s the 4th of July again and while for some of us that means a quiet weekend with friends and family it can also be one of the most dangerous holidays of the year. From BBQ’s to fire workers to a full weekend of sun and alcohol it is all too easy to go from BBQ to ER if you’re not careful. Here are some tips for staying safe this weekend, Happy 4th of July Everyone.
First of all make sure to only purchase legal fireworks and use them exactly as directed this will dramatically reduce your risk of injury. Last year alone 10,000 people were injured from fireworks, many of them children so keep all fireworks and sparklers away from little hands. When lighting fireworks be sure to wear goggles and closed tow shoe to protect eyes and feet and keep water handy incase anything in the backyard ignites. Finally if you think you’ve found a dud firework don’t re-light it instead wait several minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
Backyard fires and cookouts are responsible for thousands of injuries and millions in property damage each year so be sure to keep an eye on your grill at all times and keep a fire extinguisher handy you never know if you’re going to need it. Follow all directions on your grill and make sure that it receives regular maintenance. Make sure gas lines are leak and blockage free and for charcoal grills be very careful handling lighter fluid and hot coals. Make sure to handle all foods safely and limit their exposure to warm temperatures and bacteria the faster you can get your food from the refrigerator to the BBQ the less likely you are to get sick. To reduce your exposure to carcinogens always marinate meats and vegetables and try not to char or overcook your foods.
Boating and Swimming
One of the best parts of the 4th of July weekend is spending time by the water but it can be one of the most dangerous times as well. Always make sure that at least one adult in charge of watching any children that are swimming. When boating everyone should wear life preserves, even adults and remember alcohol and driving do not mix regardless of whether the vehicle is a boat a car or a bicycle.
A few precautions and a little common sense can go a long way to keeping you and yours accident free this holiday weekend. Be safe, have fun and happy 4th of July!