Fireworks, food, and fun in the sun—to help you have a safe and healthy Independence Day—and the day after!—we’ve put together some tips to help keep your day fun and festive… without any side trips to the emergency department!
- Learn your state fireworks laws. Keep children and pets far from fireworks launch sites, and receive training for launching pyrotechnics—if you’re in doubt, use a safer alternative like sparklers, or consult a trained pyrotechnic to assist you in lighting up your Fourth of July night.
- In the heat? Stay hydrated and ensure food and beverages are stored properly.
- Some beverages may not have any ill-effects if left in the sun, while others (like alcohol) may undergo chemical changes affecting their taste only, while items like milk and ice cream may pose health risks, such as digestive upset, when not kept cool.
- Foods like chips and other snacks may be okay to sit out for long periods of time without affecting their quality, but ensure fresh foods are refrigerated and put away when not being consumed—this includes fruits, vegetables, and dips, as well as cheese. If you wouldn’t leave it on your counter at home, be mindful of its placement on your table! Remember, too, that food left out can attract unwanted guests to your party: bees, wasps, hornets, and flies, but also chipmunks, squirrels, birds, and… even bears once the party ends!
- Remember Burton’s summer tips—specifically, ensure cool water is available for pets and that they have a shady spot or air conditioned house to cool off in.
- If you’re having a bonfire, make sure you are using an approved fire pit, and that in rural areas, the forest fire danger is low. Follow all safety and bylaw guidelines of your area, such as ensuring adequate distance from structures and buildings. Keep ample water nearby, preferably a garden hose, and ensure the fire is completely out before going inside or to sleep.
- Wear a lifejacket or PFD (personal floatation device) while boating, kayaking, canoeing, or engaging in any watersports. Ensure children are well supervised at beaches, pools, and other bodies of water, and never swim alone. Only operate a boat or watercraft if you possess the correct certification in your area, and never mix water sports or boating with alcohol.
- If you are drinking alcohol, be certain you’re also consuming enough water—and, keep the snacks coming! While Greatist has tips for staving off the effects of a night out, it’s still better to keep alcohol consumption to a minimum so you can enjoy your day—and the next one.
- If you have a medical condition that might be affected by any of the above activities—such as: impact of exercise or alcohol on blood glucose levels; effects of physical activity or fire smoke on asthma, COPD or cardiovascular symptoms; impact of exertion on conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, or fibromyalgia/ME/CFS.
- Know your body, and ensure you wear medical ID jewelry to identify your conditions.
- If you have food allergies, wash your hands frequently (a good idea for anybody!) bring your own food and ask about what is being served before consuming anything, being mindful of potential for cross-contamination–and remember to wear a food allergy bracelet or anaphylaxis necklace just in case. Always carry your epinephrine auto-injector with you.
- Read the information enclosed with your medications to ensure that you are storing them safely during your festivities—many medications should not be exposed to high levels of heat, so keeping them in a shady place inside an insulated cooler bag might be a good idea depending on what conditions are required. Never leave any medications in your car.
And the most important tip…
- Be prepared and have FUN! Remember that many of our medical ID bracelets and all of our medical alert necklaces are waterproof—jump in the pool or lake, get into a water balloon fight, and stay cool and safe this July 4th!
What did we miss? Leave us your 4th of July safety tips below!