With Independence Day right around the corner, many will be enjoying the holiday weekend outdoors. Having fun also means staying safe, using good judgment and taking simple precautions that will help keep you safe and most importantly, keep you alive. Here are some tips to follow this Independence Day:
Food Safety: To avoid food poisoning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking fresh poultry to 165 degrees, hamburgers to 160 degrees and beef to at least 145 degrees. Refrigerate all perishable food within two hours and one hour if the temperature outside is above 90 degrees. To prevent cross-contamination of bacteria, keep uncooked meats away from other foods.
Grill Safety: Emergency physicians see firsthand the dangers associated with an outdoor grill. Thoroughly clean a grill of any grease or dust. Check the tubes leading into the burner for any blockages from insects or food grease that can cause an uncontrolled fire. Replace any connectors which can lead to a gas leak and keep lighted cigarettes, matches or open flames away from a leaking grill. Do not use a grill in a garage, breezeway, carport and porch or near any surface that can catch fire. Also, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions that accompany the grill.
Water Safety: To prevent drowning, avoid alcohol when swimming or boating and wear a life jacket whenever you are on a boat. Make sure children are supervised at all times when near the beach, on a boat, by a pool or hot tub. Make sure you don’t swim alone or in bad weather. Learn to swim and teach your children to swim. We also recommend you learn CPR in case of an emergency.
Sun Safety: Protect against sunburn and heat stroke. Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 or higher and apply it generously throughout the day. Wear a hat outdoors and a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. Drink plenty of water, especially when in the sun or if you are sweating heavily. If you feel faint or nauseous, get into a cool place immediately.
Travel Safety: Do not drink and drive or travel with anyone who has been drinking and wear your seatbelt at all times. Make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and is in good working condition before a long road trip. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings if you are in an unfamiliar place and know where the nearest emergency room is at all times in case of an emergency.