AMR medics offer safety tips for Fourth of July

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – With the Fourth of July approaching, many families are planning to celebrate the holiday with fireworks. However, this could also pose a risk. AMR paramedics provided safety tips when it comes to celebrating the annual holiday.

Fireworks Safety

  • Some municipalities and counties have strict ordinances on private use of fireworks. Some local governments forbid all private fireworks use. Make sure you know those rules and follow them.
  • Follow all instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby as a precaution.
  • Wear eye protection.
  • Never use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Ignite only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight duds.
  • Do not aim, throw or point fireworks at people, animals, vehicles or structures.
  • Never give children fireworks.

Grilling Safety

  • Store perishable foods at the proper temperature until you are ready to begin cooking. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
  • If using a cooler, make sure you pack plenty of ice or freezer packs.
  • Never leave a barbecue unattended while lit.
  • Select a location away from children, pets or flammable objects.
  • Keep the grill clean by removing excess grease and residue.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher close by.
  • Use long-handled tongs and spatulas with heat-resistant handles.

Heat Safety

  • Exposure to excessive heat can quickly lead to dehydration. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and avoid beverages with caffeine, sugar, or alcohol.
  • During the hottest hours of the day, stay indoors. If your home is not air-conditioned, look for nearby cooling shelters, or spend the day in a cool public space like a library, community center or shopping mall.
  • Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing and don a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Apply sunscreen to exposed skin and reapply it every two hours.
  • Limit physical activities to the coolest morning and evening hours. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
  • Do not leave children, elderly persons or pets in cars. In under three minutes, the interior temperature of your vehicle can soar from 78 to 100 degrees, putting children, the elderly and pets in danger of heat stroke. If you see a child, an older adult or an animal left in a hot car, call 911 immediately.

Water Safety

  • Never swim alone.
  • Only use approved flotation devices; do not rely on toys or inner tubes.
  • Don’t take chances by overestimating your swimming skills.
  • Swim only in designated swimming areas.
  • Closely watch small children near water.
  • Never dive into rivers or lakes; each year nearly 3,000 people are paralyzed as a result of diving into shallow water or hitting an unseen underwater obstruction.

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