Four Safety Tips to Keep in Mind

As we roll into the long holiday weekend, many will be celebrating with family and friends. From gatherings at the beach, lake, and mountains, to barbecues and late-night fireworks, new memories will be made. We want them to be positive ones, so your safety is paramount. Keep these safety tips in mind while enjoying the holiday with your loved ones.

Stay alert to rising summer temps. Outdoor summertime activitieswill be in full swing this holiday weekend.Keep in mind that temperatures are going to soar into the 100s in some regions of the country. The CDC defines extreme heat as summertime temperatures that are much hotter than average or humidity that is higher than average. Under these conditions, heat exhaustion and heat strokes can occur. While older adults and the very young are at the highest risk for a heat-related illness, anyone doing strenuous physical activity when it’s hot can be affected. Learn the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and how to respond. For example, a heat stroke is a medical emergency that causes temps to spike to 103°F or higher. If someone has a heat stroke, dial 911 right away. Key signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating and cold, pale, clammy skin. Move them to a cool place, loosen clothing, and have them take a cool bath.

Follow these additional safety tips from the CDC when spending time outdoors:

  • Stay cool by wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Keep hydrated – don’t wait until you are thirsty. Drink plenty of water and drinks that replace salt and minerals, such as sports beverages. Avoid alcoholic or sugary drinks, which can cause dehydration.
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses, and a broad-spectrum or UVA/UVB sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
  • Go inside regularly to cool off in an air-conditioned environment.
  • Exercise during cooler hours, go slower, and take frequent breaks.

Enjoy fireworks safely. Fireworks are often the main attraction of the July 4th holiday. While professional fireworks events may be canceled this year, there will be plenty of amateur fireworks displays. As you enjoy these events, it’s essential to keep in mind the dangers of fireworks. According to US Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 15,000 people were sent to hospital EDs in 2020 for fireworks injuries. For example, sparklers, a July 4th tradition that seems innocuous enough, can be dangerous, especially to young children. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers can get as hot as 1,200° F and cause third-degree burns.

The CPSC and CDC offer the following commonsense precautions:

  • Do not allow young children to handle fireworks.
  • Light fireworks one at a time and move away quickly (also wear protective eyewear).
  • Be ready with water in case of a fire.
  • Don’t mix alcohol/drugs with fireworks.
  • Protect your ears and move away from loud fireworks, which can cause ear damage.

Have a safe travel plan. The roads, beaches, parks, and trails will be crowded with travelers this 4th of July weekend. Before the festivities kick-off, create your safe travel plan. Check the CDC for COVID-19 travel guidance. Also, plan to have a designated driver who will abstain from alcohol and drugs and will be alert and ready to take the wheel during holiday activities and long days on the road. When possible, don’t drive late at night to avoid impaired drivers.

EMS workers are here to provide lifesaving care. While an emergency is the last thing on your mind, should one occur, thousands of hardworking EMS workers will have you covered this holiday weekend. Additionally, our talented community of pilots, mechanics, and clinical professionals who cover more than 300 bases across 49 states are ready to provide access to lifesaving care at the moment it is needed most.