As you get ready for your July 4th celebrations, we want to remind you to stay safe while you and your family enjoy yourselves.
According to the office of the State Fire Marshal, fireworks cause thousands of injuries nationwide every year, most often burns but also loss of fingers, facial injuries, blindness and even death. The majority of these injuries affect children and teenagers. Fireworks also cause about 20,000 fires each year. To enjoy your fireworks safely, follow these tips:
- Keep fireworks away from small children, and always have an adult supervise older children and teens using sparklers, Roman candles and other small fireworks.
- Light fireworks on the ground, in an open area away from buildings and trees and free of combustible materials such as dry grass or leaves.
- Always have a portable fire extinguisher handy, as well as water in buckets or a hose in case sparks ignite.
- Never point any fireworks towards an individual, especially while lighting them.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly. Never try to re-light a dud device.
Food and Grilling Safety
Picnics and barbecues are a favorite for July 4th. When it comes to food safety, the most important consideration is avoiding spoilage and food borne illnesses.
- Dishes that normally need refrigeration should be left on the picnic table no longer than 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees). If you’ll be outdoors where there’s no refrigeration, bring a large cooler filled with ice for the food, as well as the one for cold drinks.
- Handle raw meats safely and keep them and their juices away from other foods. Don’t return grilled meats to the same dish that you had the raw meat on.
- Keep dishes covered to protect them from ants, flies and other insects. Ants and flies can carry dirt and microbes in their feet and saliva.
- Wash hands or use hand sanitizers before and after handling food.
Sun and Heat Safety
Whatever you plan for this 4th, chances are that you’ll be outdoors, take steps to protect yourself and your family from sun and heat exhaustion. The hotter the day, the more care you will need to take.
- Wear hats and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) to exposed skin every 2 hours and after swimming.
- Bring water (in addition to any soda and alcohol), and make sure everyone drinks enough to stay hydrated.
- Spend time in the shade. If you will be out on the boat or at the beach all day, make sure there is shade available with a canopy or beach umbrella.
- Watch for signs of heat exhaustion, especially in the old, the very young and anyone with a medical condition. Common symptoms to watch for are headaches, weakness, profuse sweating, muscle cramps, faintness, nausea and vomiting. If someone is suffering from heat exhaustion he/she should be moved immediately to a cool, shaded area and given water and electrolytes (sport drinks) to help them rehydrate. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can become heat stroke, which is a life threatening medical emergency.
We wish you a happy and safe Independence Day.
Rob Levine & Associates specializes in Personal Injury throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability throughout the country. As “The Heavy Hitter ®” Rob Levine not only works hard on your case, but also believes in making a positive impact in the communities he serves. Through internal resources, education and volunteerism, Rob Levine & Associates strives to help prevent accidents, as well as raise awareness around the needs of our elderly and returning veterans. For more information visit www.roblevine.com, or call 401.529.1222 or toll free 800-529-1222.