July 3, 2013
Here are a few ideas that may help you all have a safe and happy Fourth:
At the parade
- Be sure to use sunscreen and sunglasses.
- Bring and drink plenty of water.
- Know the signs of heat related illness and treatment. See this list from NOAA.
- Concrete and asphalt pavements get very hot. Remember to protect not only the humans, but your pets. Hot pavement can severely burn paws.
- Do not leave pets in parked vehicles. This can be fatal to your pet.
At the picnic
- Wash hands before preparing or handling food and after touching meat products.
- Keep cold food cold. Pack foods in ice in a cooler and limit the amount that the cooler can be opened. Consider packing food and drinks in separate coolers. Do not leave food out for more than two hours or one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees.
- Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood securely wrapped and as far away from other foods as possible to avoid cross contamination. Do not reuse plates or utensils that came in contact with raw meats.
- Always cook meat products thoroughly. Use a meat thermometer to be certain.
- Rinse fresh fruit well before packing in the cooler including those with skins and rinds. You still have to cut through them before eating.
Here is a site with a lot more information on picnic safety: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/foodsci/ext/pubs/picnic.html
- Do not let young children to set off fireworks. They will be just as excited if mom or dad does it carefully from a safe distance.
- If a firework doesn’t “go off,” don’t try to pick it up or re-light it. Sometimes they go off unexpectedly.
- Sparklers get much hotter than you think. As in hot enough to melt metal–and little fingers. Supervise kids carefully.
- Many pets are very frightened by firework activities. More pets are lost on the fourth than on any other day. Therefore, be sure to keep your pets inside and wearing a collar with current ID tags in case they escape.
- Also, please remember that fireworks are considered explosives and will make the TSA very unhappy if you bring them to the airport.
For more information on firework safety, check out this great page from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.