Tips for a Safe & Healthy Fourth of July

With summer in full swing, the Fourth of July is quickly approaching! Along with the holiday comes family gatherings, fireworks, time spent outside and backyard barbecues. While it’s a day filled with fun and excitement, it’s important to remember to prioritize safety and health for the whole family. Keep reading for some essential tips to help you and your loved ones have a fun, safe and healthy Independence Day.

1. Stay Hydrated and Cool

July weather can be hot and humid in most parts of the country. While it’s fun to enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures, it can be easy to forget to drink enough water. To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re spending time outdoors. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, as it can dehydrate you further. If you’re hanging out outside, make sure to take breaks in the shade or inside to cool down and prevent any heat-related illnesses.

2. Sun Protection

Whether you’re swimming, at the beach, on a boat or just spending time outside, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun. You can protect yourself from harmful UV rays by applying a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Reapply every two hours, and more often if you’re swimming or sweating. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat and seek shade when the sun is at its peak, from 10am to 4pm.

3. Food Safety

With the Fourth of July comes backyard barbeques and picnics. When preparing food for your cookout or family gathering, make sure you and your guests are following proper food safety practices. Keep raw meats separate from other foods, cook meats to the recommended temperatures and refrigerate perishables promptly. Remember to avoid leaving food out in the sun for extended periods of time to prevent foodborne illnesses. If using a grill, never leave it unattended.

4. Fireworks Safety

Fireworks are one of the best ways to celebrate Independence Day, but safety precautions must be taken. Make sure to check and follow local laws and guidelines before you use any fireworks. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets and always have responsible adult supervision. Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.” Always have a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case of emergency. And once the firework has been shot off, soak in water to fully extinguish.

5. Water Safety

Swimming can be a fun activity, but can also pose many risks if not done properly. If your celebrations include swimming, boating or other water activities, make sure to prioritize safety. Never swim alone and always supervise children near water. Wear life jackets when boating, and avoid alcohol consumption while participating in water activities. If you have children, it is a good idea to enroll them in swimming lessons before allowing them near water.

From everyone at Southwoods Health, we hope you enjoy a safe and healthy Fourth of July!

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