It’s that time of year again where we all scream “red, white and blue”! People are firing up the grill, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family watching fireworks. As some families are enjoying the holiday outdoor festivities, still others are taking a trip to the urgent care or ER.
Staying safe around the holidays can be a tough challenge, as some can become injured by firework accidents, others suffer from prolonged heat exposure, foodborne illnesses, and even more by dehydration. While ing into this extended celebration, we must remember these health & safety tips this Fourth of July 2021.
1. Fourth of July Injuries Happen
Fireworks can be dangerous and can cause serious injury to any body part, hands, feet and face being the According to The Consumer Product Safety Commision more than 44% of injuries were burns. Specifically the hands, eyes and face were the most common injury from a firework mishap. On average, 280 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries during the holiday.
Some tips to help reduce firework related injuries often include:
- Having a bucket of water or hose ready for a fire or firework mishap
- Having adult supervision if a child is around
- Never allowing young children to play with fireworks
- Never pointing or throwing fireworks at another person
- Never trying to re-light or pick up fireworks that have NOT ignited fully
Fourth of July heat related illnesses; let’s avoid them!
Drinking and tracking your water intake can definitely reduce your chances of developing heat exhaustion and heat stroke . Eight- 8 ounce glasses of water is normally enough each day, but because of the warmer weather, our need for water can also increase in order to replace the salts and electrolytes that we lose daily through urination, perspiration and just by exhaling.
SO! Pack extra water, Pedialyte or Gatorade before you leave the house. Know that this can help prevent a situation where you feel overheated or thirsty in the case of an upcoming July heat wave.
If you’re not drinking enough water and feel any symptoms of heat exhaustion and or heat , SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY. Stop strenuous activity and seek a cooler shelter if you can.
Fourth of July UV Protection: Slather Yourselves and your Children!
Prolonged exposure to UV rays can have a negative effect on your eyes and skin. Wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50+ can help reduce sun damage to the skin and even skin cancer.
The CDC studies recommends that you reapply every 2 hours. Even if you’re swimming and or toweling off the sunscreen can wash off, so reapply as needed. If your skin is super sensitive to the sun, bring an umbrella for shade. You can also wear sunglasses and hats to reduce the UV rays from hitting your eyes.
It is important to remember that UV rays are at its strongest from late morning to mid-afternoon. So plan your trips and activities accordingly to avoid prolonged sun exposure.
Fourth of July Gastroenteritis: Trust us, you don’t want it!
If you’re planning a cookout or are going to one, it is crucial to watch what you eat. Warm temperatures can cause rapid bacteria growth on foods left out in the sun. If you plan to cook make sure that hot foods are kept hot at around 140 degrees or more. If you're serving cold foods, pack a cooler and keep these foods below 40 degrees. Anything in between is considered the danger zone for bacteria growth. You don’t want to eat foods that are exposed to those temperatures or ones that have been left out for more than 2 hours. Food borne illnesses like gastroenteritis can be a result of uncooked meat or foods that got a little too much sun.
If you can:
- Use thermometers when cooking all foods
- Make sure to wash hands when serving or handling food
- Refrigerate and freeze food promptly after eating
AFC Urgent Care West Hartford is Here For You
Fourth of July is supposed to be fun and relaxing, especially after the year we’ve had with COVID-19, but know that we are here for you should you need us. Come on in to AFC Urgent Care West Hartford at 1030 Boulevard, West Hartford, where one of our providers is always available and is equipped to care for firework related injuries, heat related illnesses, and foodborne illnesses. We are open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and from 8am-5pm on the weekends we accept most insurances!
We are open this July 4th, 2021 normal hours, from 8am-5pm.