5 Ways to Keep Your Family Safe this 4th of July

Barbecues, family reunions and fireworks. These are some of the fun traditions that make the 4th of July a special time.  But it’s also a time of avoidable accidents, with hundreds of people injured every year.
Mary’s Center internist Dr. Ashley Harris has some tips to make sure your family has a safe and enjoyable holiday.

1. Sip, slip, slap and slop.

Minimize the risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion, eye damage and sunburn by sipping water regularly, slipping on a pair of sunglasses and a shirt, slapping on your hat or cap, and slopping on some sunscreen.  Try not to be out in the sun for long periods of time.

2.  Watch the little ones at all times.

It’s likely to be very hot and the kids will definitely want to cool off in the pool or the ocean, so make sure you keep a constant eye on them while they are swimming to prevent drowning. If you are having a barbecue, make sure curious little hands keep away from any grilling tools that might cause cuts or burns.

3.  Don’t wait too long to start grilling.

You need to cook meat thoroughly to destroy harmful bacteria, so give yourself enough time! Remember to practice good food safety habits like washing your hands with soap and water before and after handling food, and keeping raw food separate from cooked food.

4.  Be careful with the fireworks and sparklers.

They are beautiful, but they can also be quite dangerous.  According the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, sparklers can burn at a temperature of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the fireworks and sparklers are being handled by an experienced adult and ask that person to move back quickly after lighting them! Once the fireworks have finish burning, extinguish them completely by pouring water on them before putting them in the trash.

5.  Stay sober.

This is especially important if you intend to swim. If you’ve had one beer or glass of wine too many, stay out of the water.  For the drive home afterwards, make sure someone else takes the wheel.

I wish you a fun and incident-free 4th of July!

If you’d like more advice on your family’s health, call 1-844-796-2797 to make an appointment with our highly qualified providers or request an appointment online.

Source: US Consumer Product Safety Commission

Dr. Ashley HarrisAbout Ashley Harris, MD, MHS

Dr. Ashley Harris is an Internist at Mary’s Center.  She attended Georgetown Medical School, and completed residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  After completing a fellowship in General Internal Medicine, during which she focused on research to improve health disparities among low income women,  Dr. Harris joined the staff at Mary’s Center in September 2015, and sees patients at the Montgomery County and Prince George’s County locations. 


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