Tips for a Safe July 4th

Celebrating the Fourth of July and the birth of our nation’s independence is the most anticipated summer holiday with more than 300 million Americans heading out to enjoy the beach, pool, parades and of course fireworks. While Fourth of July festivities are full of fun, precautions should be taken.

Dr. Bob Morrow, President Houston and Southeast Region, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, offers the following Fourth of July safety tips ahead of the holiday weekend:  

  1. Check if fireworks are legal in your city. Make sure to obey all local laws and be sure fireworks are permissible within your city’s jurisdiction. While fireworks are legal in Harris County they are not permitted within Houston’s city limits. Houston residents should instead take advantage and enjoy the City-sponsored fireworks shows.
  2. Use caution with fireworks. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,500 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during 2014. If you are using fireworks, read the cautionary labels and directions before igniting them, have a bucket of water or hose handy and purchase fireworks from a reputable fireworks stand or company.
  3. Keep a watchful eye on the water. Whether you’re at the pool, lake or beach, ensure that at least one adult is watching when children are around water. According to the CDC, approximately 390 children ages 0-14 die each year from drowning and the majority of drowning deaths occur in June, July and August.  
  4. Use sun protection. The Texas heat can be very dangerous to children and the elderly.  Use a hat to protect your ears, eyes, forehead and scalp from intense sun exposure, use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and re-apply throughout the day. Also, be sure to apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent!
  5. Drink more water. During hot Texas summers, it’s important you and your children are drinking enough water. Your body needs more water when it is physically active and in a hot climate.  Watch for signs of dehydration including: excessive sweating, thirst, decreased urine output or darkly colored urine, headache, fatigue, cramping and dizziness. 
  6. Keep the bugs off. Summer parties and vacations inevitably mean bugs will be present.  When outside, apply insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. When using these products, always follow the product label instructions, reapply insect repellent as directed, and do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.

What plans do you have for celebrating Independence Day?

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