FCH offers tips for a safe and healthy Independence Day
With the Independence Day holiday around the corner, many Americans will be celebrating with fireworks, food and fun. No matter how you choose to celebrate the holiday, officials at Faith Community Hospital encourage you to make health and safety a priority.
The safety of you and your loved ones should always be top priority, especially during the Independence Day holiday weekend. By taking a few essential precautions, you can literally make the difference between life and death.
To promote health and safety, FCH has created five tips that everyone should keep in mind during the upcoming holiday weekend.
Protect yourself from the sun and heat
Texas summers are known for being hot. No matter the time of day, high temperatures can pose various health risks and strain on your body.
When participating in our door activates, remember to always stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you are planning to be very active, such as participating in sports or other vigorous activities, sports drinks with electrolytes might be a great alternative to water.
Fresh fruits and vegetables that contain high water content, such as strawberries, pineapple, celery, and iceberg lettuce are all great foods to consume outdoors. They are all packed with lots of water that will help you stay hydrated.
In addition to hydration, using plenty of sunblock outdoors can help protect your skin from sun damage. Typically sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher is recommended.
Practice caution at the pool and lakes
Pools and lakes are a great way families keep cool in the summer – especially during holidays. With watersports being among the top pastimes, it is also linked to numerous deaths and injuries.
It is estimated that more than 3,400 fatal unintentional drownings occur each year in the U.S., with as much as three percent occurring in Texas.
You can avoid a drowning in your family by never swimming alone. Children, especially, should be supervised at all times when near bodies of water.
Studies show that the Fourth of July Holiday ranks second next to New Year’s Eve for alcohol-related traffic accidents. Also, statistics indicate a higher prevalence of driving under the influence in rural versus urban areas. Nationwide, fatality rates of automobile accidents for both teens and adults were twice as high in rural areas.
The best way to ensure that everyone in your community stays safe is to refrain from alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, and liquor. If you or a loved one does choose to drink, please do not plan to operate a motor vehicle such as a car or boat.
Handle food properly outdoors
Leaving food outdoors can bring food-borne illness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests never leaving food out for more than an hour when outdoor temperatures are above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and more than two hours any other time.
In addition, foods that require refrigeration should be placed in a cooler with plenty of ice and/or freezing packs to hold a temperature of at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Leave fireworks to the professionals
Fireworks are synonymous with Independence Day, but the thrill and wonder of fireworks can also bring pain and sometimes death if not handled properly.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 36 percent of fireworks injuries are sustained to hands and fingers, followed 19 percent equally to eyes and heads/faces/ears. More than 50 percent of injuries are burns.
Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. In addition, it is recommended that individuals opt to enjoy fireworks shows put on by professionals.