This July Fourth marks 240 years since the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and a new nation was formed. It’s one of the biggest and most commemorative holidays of the year. For many American families, the day will be celebrated with friends, flags, good food, parades, music, reunions, water play, fireworks displays and numerous other festive activities.
It’s a great day for patriotic fun with family and friends, but don’t forget about safety and the pets.
Food preparation, sun exposure, water activity, fireworks and our precious pets all require extra attention on this very special holiday!
Drink plenty of water and limit alcohol consumption- especially if children need looking after.
Protect against food poisoning by following these simple rules:
• Clean: Make sure you clean all surfaces, utensils, and hands with soap and water.
• Separate: When grilling, use separate plates and utensils for raw meat and cooked meat and ready-to-eat foods (like raw vegetables) to avoid cross-contamination.
• Cook: Cook foods to the right temperature by using a food thermometer. That’s the only way to know it’s a safe temperature. Remember, burgers should be cooked to 160°F.
• Chill: Chill raw and prepared foods promptly if not consuming after cooking. You shouldn’t leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours (or 1 hour if outdoor temperatures are above 90° F), so if you’re away from home, make sure you bring a cooler to store those leftovers.
Lots of families will be enjoying water activities at the beach or lake on July Fourth. Make sure your family plays it safe by:
• Making sure the children – and even adults – always have a life jacket on when in the water or on a motorized water vehicle (boat, jet ski, etc.)
• Never letting your children swim alone. An adult should always be present and paying attention.
• Always stepping feet first into shallow water and never try to dive.
• Reviewing safe boating practices.
• Always having a phone handy should an emergency arise.
• Knowing your limits when it comes to water.
Daylight hours are longer during the summer and the sun’s rays can be intense. If possible, limit your exposure to the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Children are particularly susceptible to sunburn, so make sure they have plenty of sunscreen on. And once again, make sure you and the kids are drinking plenty of water! Watch for signs of heat stroke – rapid, weak pulse, fast, slow breathing, and hot, red skin.
Fireworks and the Fourth of July go hand-in-hand. The best way to protect the family from fireworks injuries is by attending a sponsored and controlled city or community fireworks event. Leave the explosions to the experts and enjoy the nighttime display!
If your city or county allows personal fireworks and you plan on having a few at the house, make sure safety is your first priority.
Fireworks can be dangerous, so in order to prevent injuries and deaths that are related to fireworks, here are a few firework safety tips to follow this Fourth of July:
· Children should never be allowed to ignite or play with fireworks.
· An adult should always be supervising firework activity.
· A fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of water should always be on hand in the event of a mishap or fire.
· No one should ever try to pick up or re-ignite a firework that did not ignite properly or fully the first time around.
· Fireworks should only be lit one at a time and the person lighting them should immediately move away from the firework after lighting it.
And don’t forget about the four-legged family members! Pets don’t associate fireworks with celebrations and most are terrified of the loud explosions and whistles they produce. Board or keep your pets indoors.
Make sure that lighter fluid and matches are out of your pet’s reach. While it’s tempting to feed your pets left over scraps, keep them on their regular diet. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and tiki torch oil products out of reach. These products can be poisonous to pets. And make sure that your pets have identification tags on them in case they escape. Having your pet chipped is inexpensive and provides a good way for owners to be tracked down in the event that a pet does run away.
July Fourth is a true American tradition. Here’s to having a fun and safe celebration!
Story sources: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/fourth-july-safety-tips