Fourth Of July Safety Tips

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NEWARK—July 4th is a major summer holiday and a time for celebrations and family gatherings. Unfortunately, many people end up in Emergency Departments due to a variety of unexpected injuries and conditions.

“It is important for families to understand the risks involved with fireworks, as more than one-third of fireworks-related injuries include burns, lacerations, and fractures,” reports Michael Rosen, MD, Pediatric Director of the Emergency Department at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. “Summer is also a time for burns that occur from outdoor cooking and the use of camp fires.”

This year, help your family to follow a few safety guidelines from The Emergency Department at Newark Beth Israel Medial Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey to ensure a happy holiday:

Be Careful with Fireworks

In many states, including New Jersey, it is illegal to use fireworks. The best option is to visit public fireworks displays put on by experienced professionals. If you are traveling to another state and plan to use fireworks, follow these precautions:

  • Never light them indoors or near dry grass.
  • Always have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a firework does not go off, do not investigate it.
  • Supervise children around fireworks at all times.  Sparklers can reach temperatures as hot as 2,000 degrees—six times as hot as a pan of cooking oil—and should not be placed in the hands of children. If sparklers are used, they should be set in the ground and at an appropriately far distance.

Barbecue Safety

Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the tubes are not blocked. Do not wear loose clothing while cooking. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because it can explode. Dispose of hot coals properly – douse them with plenty of water. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers. Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case clothing catches fire. Call 911 if a burn warrants serious medical attention.

Responsible Drinking

Hosts should drink responsibly and make sure that guests are also not overdoing the spirits. If you serve alcohol at your 4th of July party, make sure to have designated drivers to take home those who will be drinking. Also, for everyone’s safety, do not have people who are drinking cook the food on the grill or light fireworks.

Camping and Fire Safety

Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves. Keep campfires small, and don’t let them get out of hand. Have plenty of water and a shovel around to douse the fire when you’re done. Stir it and douse it again with water. Never leave campfires unattended.

Serve Foods at the Proper Temperature

Food freshness is important when serving items like potato salad, mayonnaise and other foods that may spoil in warm temperatures. Also remember to cook chicken and hamburgers fully.


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