Friday, July 2, 2010

Have a SAFE 4th of July Weekend

Like the rest of American you are probably getting ready to enjoy some BBQ, a picnic, fireworks and maybe swimming this 4th of July weekend.  I love the 4th. I'm originally from the Washington DC area so love celebrating the birth of our nation.  I miss watching the fireworks on the National Mall with the monuments as the backdrop.  Unfortunately though the 4th also makes me nervous.  Why?  Because fireworks, alcohol, children and water often equal a dangerous combination.

After spending the better part of my career (10 years now) with non-profit organizations that focus on health, child safety, emergency preparedness and response I have become very passionate about family safety.  I have seen the impact of not paying attention, not being prepared and not knowing what to do when an emergency happens.  So many think that accidents or emergencies won't happen to them but in reality you are most likely to respond to an emergency in a home that involves your own family and friends. 

So this 4th of July, have some BBQ, light a sparkler, take a swim but don't forget some basic safety tips

Burn Prevention
*Only buy Safe and Sane fireworks

*Be aware of what's around you when lighting fireworks or a campfire. Clear brush, trees and other ignition sources. 

*If you are camping make sure to children don't play near campfires.  A easy tip is to build a large circle with large rocks around the campfire to keep children a safe distance from the fire. Teach children to not enter the "danger zone".

*Make sure children are supervised at all time

*Make sure children aren't allowed near heat sources including stoves and BBQ grills

*Scald Burns:  Of course we worry about children getting burned due to fire but scald burns are also very common in children and often involved cooking or food. Shriners Children's Hospital offers more information regarding Scald Burn injury.  Nearly 300 children a day go to the emergency room for scald burn injuries.  A good kitchen tip - Keep children out of the kitchen.  Children want to explore and they will pull on deep fryer and slow cooker cords and reach for handles on the stove.

*Hosting a pool party at your house? Hire a lifeguard. As the hostess you will need to attend to many things and will quickly get distracted from watching the pool.

*Remember the ABC's of Drowning Prevention. Active adult supervision, barriers and class (swimming & CPR) are essential.

*Alcohol and swimming just aren't a good mix.  Especially when you add in heat and dehydration.  If you have kids set the example and be safe.

*More Swimming Safety Tips from the American Red Cross.

*If you own a home pool the American Red Cross and the National Swimming Pool Foundation offer a great online course regarding pool safety and maintenance.


Wishing you and your family a very happy and safe 4th of July holiday weekend!
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