July 4th Safety

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Keep your family safe this summer by following these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

FIREWORKS SAFETY

  • Fireworks can result in severe burns, scars, and disfigurement that can last a lifetime.
  • Fireworks that are often thought to be safe, such as sparklers, can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and can burn users and bystanders.
  • Families should attend community fireworks displays run by professionals rather than using fireworks at home.
  • The AAP recommends prohibiting public sale of all fireworks, including those by mail or the Internet.

BOATING SAFETY

  • Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats or near bodies of water.
  • Make sure the life jacket is the right size for your child. The jacket should not be loose. It should always be worn as instructed with all straps belted.
  • Blow-up water wings, toys, rafts and air mattresses should not be used as life jackets or personal flotation devices.
  • Adults should wear life jackets for their own protection, and to set a good example.
  • Adolescents and adults should be warned of the dangers of boating when under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and even some prescription medications.

SWIMMING

  • Never swim alone.  Even good swimmers need buddies!
  • A lifeguard (or another adult who knows about water rescue) needs to be watching children whenever they are in or near the water. Younger children should be closely supervised while in or near the water – use “touch supervision,” keeping no more than an arm’s length away.
  • Make sure your child knows never to dive into water except when permitted by an adult who knows the depth of the water and who has checked for underwater objects.
  • Never let your child swim in canals or any fast moving water.
  • Ocean swimming should only be allowed when a lifeguard is on duty.

How do you plan to celebrate the 4th of July this year?

Fireworks Safety

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Each Independence Day, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks — devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death. Consider the following facts.

  • The risk of fireworks injury was two-and-a-half times as high for children ages 5-9 or 10-14 as for the general population.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
  • In 2006, fireworks caused an estimated 32,600 reported fires, including 1,700 total structure fires, 600 vehicle fires, and 30,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 6 civilian deaths, 70 civilian injuries and $34 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2007, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,800 people for fireworks related injuries; 56 percent of 2007 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 36 percent were to the head.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is a member of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, a group of health and safety organizations, coordinated by National Fire Protection Association, that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.

Do you see fireworks displays each year as part of your Independence Day festivities?