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Forth of July Safety Tips

June 22, 2018

Little boy celebrating 4th of July safelyThe Fourth of July is a wonderful time to go outside, kick back with family and friends, throw some burgers on the grill and enjoy a spectacular fireworks-show. We’ve put together some helpful tips so you can be sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.

Fireworks

Fireworks can be a great Fourth of July activity when used properly, but dangerous if used recklessly.  According to the Indiana State Department of Health, fireworks injuries in Indiana has increased by 177% since 2012.[1] Here are some things to keep in mind when using fireworks:

  • Know the laws: Be aware of when Indiana state law allows fireworks use, and supervise the use of fireworks by anyone under the age of 18. You can see a complete list of firework laws for Indiana here.
  • Handle fireworks with care: Make sure to keep clear when discharging fireworks. Only light one firework at a time and do not alter your fireworks in any way.
  • Use Caution: Ensure that you are purchasing fireworks from reliable, trusted sources. Have a way to put out any potential fires nearby, whether it be a fire extinguisher or bucket of water. For those lighting fireworks, wearing safety glasses is recommended.
  • Watch the kids: Be aware of where children are and know what they are doing. Never leave them alone near fireworks. Let them enjoy the show, but make sure they stay clear of fireworks being discharged so they can avoid getting burned.

Learn more about treating firework burns and other related injuries.

Grilling

Nothing beats a home grilled burger. However, it’s important to take precautions when using a grill. Every year, 7,000 Americans are injured when using barbecue grills and it’s usually a case of incorrect use.[2]

  • Use proper tools: Use tools with long handles that you can grip and control easily. Make sure they can be used on an open flame. Check your grill before lighting it to see if everything is connected correctly.
  • Don’t grill indoors: This is a fire hazard and can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning as smoke gathers inside. Stay outdoors, clear from any flammable objects, where smoke can escape.
  • Avoid cross-contamination: Handle raw meat with washed or different tools than cooked meat. Grilling meat kills harmful bacteria, but those same bacteria can stick to dirty grilling tongs and spatulas.
  • Watch the kids: Grills are extremely hot and grill fires can be unpredictable. Don’t let your kids come near the grill as they could get burned very easily. Serve food away from the grill and discourage running around the grilling area.

Playing Outside

Outdoors activities like sports and swimming are enjoyable, but should be done in a safe manner. Here are a few reminders before heading outside:

  • Sun safety: The sun shines extra bright in the middle of the summer. Be sure to apply sunscreen to avoid getting sunburned. Also stay hydrated, especially if the plan is to be outside for extended periods of time. Heatstroke and dehydration are especially concerning with the high heat in the summer time.
  • Safe pool habits: Discourage kids from running near or around the pool area. Keep an eye on kids in the water and have them wear floatable gear if they are not confident swimmers.
  • Watch the kids: One last reminder to supervise children when out and about. If you are attending a block party, make sure kids aren’t running out into the streets when cars are passing by. If they are playing sports without protection or gear, make sure they aren’t being too rough with one another.

In case of any medical emergencies that may come up during your Fourth of July, know the location of your nearest St. Vincent Neighborhood Hospital. We provide quality medical services with quick turnaround times, so you can get treatment with no hassle and get back to the celebration in no time. Remember, if you are having an immediate emergency, call 9-1-1.

Have a Happy Independence Day!

More Resources:

General Tips

http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Red-Cross-Issues-Safety-Tips-For-4th-of-July-Holiday

Fireworks

Fireworks Laws in Indiana: http://www.in.gov/dhs/files/fireworks_factsheet.pdf
Fireworks Incidents: https://www.in.gov/isdh/files/ISDH_FireworksReport_2013.pdf

Barbecues

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Grilling
Summer Barbecues Dos and Don’ts: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/ten-tips-safe-summer-barbecues-learn-dos-donts/story?id=139183822
Avoiding Cross Contamination: https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/communication/bbq-iq.html