(Photo Credit: Rebecca Hemling)
Food Safety: This is super important when going to backyard cookouts and picnics. One in six Americans get a foodborne illness each year (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, n.d.) Don't be one of them...remember to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot, store raw and prepared foods separately, and wash hands often.
Fireworks: Whether going to a community show or setting your own off in the backyard, fireworks have the potential to be extremely dangerous. On average, 240 people a day go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries during the month of July (U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, n.d.). Avoid being one of them....keep a safe distance at all times, watch children closely, and stay alert for falling debris and faulty detonations.
Be Sun Safe: Protect your skin and eyes when outdoors in the sun. Each year more than 1.2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer (Sun Safety Alliance, n.d.). Reduce your risk...apply sunscreen before heading out and reapply often, find shade when possible, and wear sunglasses and/or a hat.
Traveling: Be mindful of excess traffic that will be on the roads over the holiday weekend. Allow extra time to get to your destination and if possible avoid heavily traveled roadways. *Psst* This is a great opportunity to practice Mindful Driving!
Drink Responsibly: This one needs little explanation...please don't drink and drive. The Fourth of July holiday weekend is marked as one of the "deadliest" of the year with over 40% of all traffic accident fatalities being caused by drunk drivers (U.S. Department of Transportation, n.d.).
Have Fun! The long weekend spent with family and friends is a great opportunity to get outdoors and get active...gather everyone together for a hike, bicycle ride, swimming, a game of baseball, volleyball, tennis, or any other activity you enjoy. Not only will you have fun but get some great exercise too!
And one last tip...take a moment to reflect on freedom and what living in America means to you.
Sun Safety Alliance. (n.d.). The facts about getting too much sun. Retrieved from http://www.sunsafetyalliance.org/bare_facts.html
U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. (n.d.). Fireworks information center. Retrieved from http://www.cpsc.gov/fireworks
U.S. Department of Transportation. (n.d.). 4th of July drunk driving prevention campaign. Retrieved from http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/july4th
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Picnic food safety [PDF File]. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/UCM354231.pdf
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