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Fourth of July Dangers

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This Fourth of July, families everywhere will fire up the grill, pull out the sparklers, and camp out to see fireworks. But all of those activities can be deadly. Here's how to keep your family safe.


Kids love the bright colors and crackling of sparklers and fireworks, but it's the alarming statistics that have us nervous to even let them leave the house. According to Highlight Health, 95% of emergency room visits involved fireworks that federal regulations allow consumers to use; the highest injury rates were for children ages 10 to 14. Around the nation, an estimated 9,200 people were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in 2006, says the CDC, and 5% of those injuries required hospitalization.

What can we do as moms to help keep our kids safe and enjoy the day worry free? We called upon Safety Chick, Kathleen Baty for some expert advice. For starters, you need to treat the holiday like any other day/vacation. It's not about being paranoid, it's about being aware of your surroundings. Whether your plans are to stay home, go to a parade, or the beach, make sure you have a game plan.

• Make a plan: Never leave the house without going over possible scenarios with your family.

• Buddy up: Make sure that the younger children have a buddy, whether it be an adult or an older child. There's safety in numbers.

• Find an adult: In case your child gets separated from the group, make sure they know where they live and to find a police officer.

• Play the memory game.Before leaving the house, have everyone close their eyes and make them announce what the person to the right of them is wearing. You'd be surprised how often kids go missing and parents have no clue as to what they were wearing.

• Don't trust anyone. When at the beach or a pool, you can't rely on a lifeguard or another adult to watch your child. Go over safety rules prior and always make sure you're watching them.

For safety tips on fireworks and grilling, our friends from Burn Jel Plus, the world's leading provider of professional burn treatments used by EMT workers, gave us some insight.

Sparklers and fireworks:

• Never allow children to light fireworks, and supervise use of sparklers by older children.
• If fireworks are banned in your area, do not use them. They are illegal for a reason and can easily start a fire.
• Keep a supply of water or an extinguisher within easy reach.
• After items are ignited, keep them at a safe distance.
• Young children should never handle sparklers.
• Thoroughly read all package directions before use.

Grilling in the backyard:

• Follow manufacturers' directions when using grills.
• Use only commercial lighting fluid to light charcoals. Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids.
• Never add starter fluid to hot coals. They could catch fire and explode.
• Thoroughly extinguish hot coals before disposal.
• Supervise children at all times when grills are in use.
• Establish a three-foot "Keep Away Zone" for children around grills.
• Do not wear loose-fitting clothing. Tie or pin up long hair.

When preparing for your Fourth of July bash, keep these tips in mind for a safe and memorable event.

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anon July 3, 2008, 8:58 PM

Watch your kids and you won’t have any problems.

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