As we enter the 4th of July festivities, here are some safety tips based on the types of responses MedStar has experienced in previous July 4th holiday years…
Obey local laws
o Many cities prohibit fireworks – consider going to local organized//sponsored events
o Let’s face it, they are professional, the show is better AND it’s safer
Read the label before use
o Be sure you know what type of firework you are lighting, some shoot, some explode – knowing this ahead of time could avert catastrophe
Watch your children
o Kids are naturally curious about things that light or explode – have a designated adult keep an eye on kids in the area.
Don't mix alcohol and fireworks
o Alcohol could impair your judgment and slow your reflexed – those lighting fireworks should refrain from alcohol consumption
Wear safety glasses
o Flying debris could cause devastating eye injuries – it’s a good idea to use eye protection near fireworks
Never relight a "dud"
o The “dud” could still be ‘live’ and blow up unexpectedly causing serious injury
o The fuse will also be much shorter, giving you little time to react
Wet down prior to disposal
o Completely submerge ‘spent’ fireworks prior to disposal – this may prevent some from exploding unexpectedly later, like in your garage!
o Winds will be very strong today and tomorrow – and we have not had any significant rain in a while – this makes for a dangerous combination if lit fireworks land on the dry ground causing a serious, wind-swept brush fire
Types of fireworks-related calls of the past couple of years MedStar has responded to:
Hand injuries from fireworks blowing up in hands
o With devastating injuries, even amputated fingers/hands
o By the way, launching bottle rockets from your hand is a BAD idea!
Eye injuries from exploded shards of hot plastic or gunpowder
o Even from “sparklers” in the hands of running children
Burns – either from hot ashes to the skin, or in some cases, clothes being ignited on fire from sparklers or other seemingly benign fireworks
Gunshot wounds – remember, what goes up, must come down!
o DO NOT shoot guns into the air – the bullet WILL come down somewhere
Hot Weather Precautions
This July 4th will be one of the hottest days so far this year. Here are some hot weather tips:
Hydrate early and often
o If you wait until you are thirsty to drink, it’s already too late!
Try to stay in the shade whenever possible and limit your outside exposure to the heat
Wear light clothing to shield the sun, but allowing air to circulate
Limit alcohol consumption
o It could enhance the natural reaction to heat – related symptoms AND impair your judgment regarding the hot weather.
Watch out for each other!
o Look for the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses in those around you and take action if you see someone you suspect of a heat-related illness
Posted on Sun, July 3, 2016
by Matt Zavadsky