Fitness Facts: Fourth of July safety tips
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
With the Fourth of July just a week away, here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe — including a few fire tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
- Be sure fireworks are legal in your area before using or buying them.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities and never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Sparklers alone account for one quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.
- If you set off fireworks, keep a bucket of water handy in case of malfunction or fire.
- If fireworks malfunction, don’t relight them! Do soak them with water then throw them away.
- Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially one that is glass or metal.
- Use your grill well away from your home and deck railings, and out from under branches or overhangs.
- Open your gas grill before lighting.
- Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below your gas or propane grill so it cannot be ignited.
- Declare a 3-foot “kid- and pet-free zone” around the grill to keep them safe.
- Avoid loose clothing that can catch fire when cooking on the grill.
Here are some additional reminders to keep the holiday safe:
- Use alcohol responsibly: Alcohol is often a factor in many Independence Day festivities and can be a dangerous combination with fireworks. Use cautiously and always be sure to have a designated driver.
- Swim sober and always swim with a buddy.
- Don’t forget sun protection: Limit exposure of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with a protectant factor of at least 15. Reapply sunscreen often.
- Remember to drink plenty of water regularly, even if you are not thirsty.
- If you are outside, watch for signs of heat stroke — hot, red skin; changes in breathing; rapid, weak pulse. If you see these signs, apply cool, wet cloths and lie down or have the person lie down.
- Be cautious of food and beverages being left outdoors. According to the Food and Drug Administration, never leave food out for more than one hour when temperatures reach above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and no more than two hours for lower summer temperatures.
Have a fun — and SAFE — Fourth of July!