Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July

The Administration for Children & Families wiishes you and your family a wonderful Independence Day!  Here are four ways you can have a safe and happy Fourth of July.

Leave the fireworks to the professionals

Sparklers may seem harmless but they account for 31% of all injuries caused by fireworks. Play it safe by going to see one of the firework shows in your town.

If you are going to use fireworks, follow these guidelines from the Consumer Product Safety Commission's Fireworks Information Center

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them

Avoid Foodborne Illnesses

The Fourth of July is a great time to fire up the grill, but safety precautions still apply.

  • Bring a food thermometer and make sure to cook all meat to the proper temperature:
    • raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F
    • raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F
    • poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F
  • Keep cold food cold:
    • when using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter
    • avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in
    • pack beverages in one cooler and perishables in a separate cooler

Find more tips for preventing foodborne illnesses at foodsafety.gov.

Get Outside and Get Active

The warmer months provide a wealth of opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors. Take a nature walk and see how many different animals and plants your children can name. Go for a swim, or learn how to if you don't already know.  Toss a frisbee. Letsmove.gov has many other ideas for gettuing active with your family.

Play it Cool

Raising temperatures can be more than uncomfortable, they can pose serious health risks. Young children and older adults are most at risk. follow these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen
  • Pace yourself
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down
  • Do not leave children or pets in cars
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates


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