It’s one of the biggest celebrations of the year, right in the middle of summer when thoughts turn to vacations and all the good things in life but there are 4th of July emergencies you should be aware of as you celebrate.
Missing out on Independence Day activities is unthinkable!
Sadly, it’s also the time of year when emergency rooms see a spike in accidents. Some are caused by carelessness, but often people aren’t aware of the dangers around them.
Knowing the worst that could happen puts you closer to staying safe, so here’s a quick guide to the most common 4th of July emergencies and how you can avoid them:
Every year, thousands of emergency room visits are the result of firework injuries. Fireworks for sale let you create your own displays and are especially popular with children, but even legal fireworks are dangerous. To stay safe:
- Read and follow all the directions on the packaging.
- Light fireworks one at a time, and stand well back once you’ve lit the fuse.
- Don’t allow children to light them.
- Think twice about sparklers, as even these seemingly innocent fireworks can burn, either through direct contact or from sparks.
- Provide glow in the dark wands so kids can have fun with light.
- Never go back to fireworks that didn’t go off.
- Never throw fireworks.
- Don’t carry fireworks in pockets.
The best way to enjoy fireworks is by going to an organized display. Not only are the fireworks under expert control, you’ll see much bigger, more exciting fireworks than you could buy yourself.
It’s BBQ season and everyone loves a meal fresh off the grill. Make sure your grill is safe by running a few safety checks beforehand. Check for leaks if you’re running a gas grill and get equipment serviced if you find anything untoward. Check the seals and connectors to make sure gas isn’t escaping. Don’t try to fix leaky gas grills yourself.
If you’re barbecuing over charcoal, take care when you’re lighting it. Use proper charcoal fluid and don’t pour on more once the coals are lit in a bid to hurry things along.
Look for somewhere away from flammable materials or objects (including trees) to set up the grill, and keep kids away from flames or hot coals.
Grills and fireworks aren’t the only burn dangers on the Fourth of July. High on the list of hazards is sunburn, with one of the main dangers being the way it can creep up on you. Often, the damage is done before we realize we’re burning.
Prevention is the best cure, so take along a high factor sun cream whenever you’re going to an outdoor event. How high is high? Make sure your cream offers at least factor 15 protection. Apply it often. Every two hours is recommended, more if you’re swimming or find yourself sweating a lot.
You can also take along your own shade in the form of peaked caps or wide-brimmed hats, or even a parasol if you’re feeling whimsical. Light cotton shirts or t-shirts can help protect the shoulders, which are amongst the most vulnerable areas.
Drinking and Dehydration
Heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and dehydration are common, especially among infants or elderly people. Make sure you drink plenty of water and escape into the shade now and then during the day.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol since this causes dehydration as well as is one of the prime causes of reckless behavior.
If you’re spending time in or around water on the Fourth of July, it’s wise to be aware of some of the 4th of July emergencies that could occur. Children are particularly vulnerable, especially if friends or peers are egging them on. Even parties around kiddie pools at home can be places of danger when there’s excitement in the air.
Don’t leave kids alone and unsupervised, and make sure there are personal floatation devices available for everyone, not just the weaker swimmers to avoid 4th of July emergencies.
There are so many activities and celebrations going on around Houston for the Fourth of July, why would you want to do the work yourself? Here are some great alternatives:
- Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens – refreshments, crafts and activities, with a reading of the Declaration of Independence and the chance to sign a replica yourself.
- ExxonMobil Summer Symphony – Join the Houston Symphony Orchestra at the Miller Outdoor Theatre for this evening performance with a special 1812 Overture finale of booming cannons and fireworks.
- Parade and Festival – at Bellaire, TX, the Fourth of July parade is open to everyone to join in. The festival starts after the parade at the Bellaire Town Square with carnival games, a petting zoo and a mini Ferris wheel.
Used under Creative Commons image attribution license 2.0