Monday, July 2, 2012

4th of July Safety Tips - Word to the Wise

The 4th of July - the day we - as a country no matter our ethnicity, culture, or heritage - come together in one day or week (if you're lucky) to celebrate this country's unity and declared freedom.  Being of multicultural descent - my family, who has been here for several generations, celebrates in typical American style of barbecue, swimming, enjoying our friends and family and going to see the display of fireworks in town.

July fourth is the day we celebrate freedom and unity.
We also get to enjoy our Indo-Armenian neighbors who once a year have a blow-out bash with their friends and family.  Amazing sweet smelling cultural cuisine wafts through the air, the exotic, beautiful bells and music of their heritage plays as they dance through the night, ending with their own colorful fireworks display.

Now I realize I have a couple of days, but the July fourth holiday period actually is much longer than just one day or so the statistics show.

From traveling to swimming at the beach to boating and backyard bashes with friends and family, there are barbecues, an abundance of tasty treats, drinks of all flavors and fireworks!  However, what is supposed to be a day of celebration is often reflected as a day of many accidents and injuries.  Therefore I thought some insight, wisdom, and a few statistics might be a bit prudent.

Impaired Driving - Not a Wize Way to Spend Your Holiday

According to the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHSTA), "Most Americans don't realize that July 4th is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes."  During 2010 Fourth of July celebrations (from 6:00 p.m. on July 2 - 5:59 am on July 6):
  • 392 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes
  • 39% involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher
  • 80% more alcohol-impaired driving fatalities took place at night
  • 50% of young drivers killed were alcohol impaired (BAC of .08 or higher)
If you do drink on the 4th, please DO NOT drive! 

Getting Fired Up - Not Just From Fireworks
Did you know that a Sparkler can burn at 2,000 degrees? This small fact from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is just one reason NOT to let children light or play with Sparklers.  The CPSC also offers other safety tips for a safe and enjoyable 4th of July.  Some alarming burn and firework statistics for not following the tips in 2011 resulted in:
  • An average of 200 people visit the emergency room every day with fireworks related injuries
  • 65% of these injuries occurred within the 4th of July holiday period
  • Most injured body part is no surprise the hands and fingers - 46%
  • Most injuries by type of fireworks goes to the Sparklers - 17%
For more interesting statistics go to www.cpsc.gov.  Be sure to know some basic burn care as well - just in case.

Also - watch the barbecues, backyard fire pits and camp fires - statistics from the National Fire Data Center indicate that more than half of the 11,000 injuries related to these types of fires happen the first week of July.

Turning Up the Heat
Keeping to the hot topic of heating things up.  It is July and the temperatures across the nation have been hot and the weather unpredictable.  With temperatures soaring into the 90's in many states, drink your water!  Alcohol will actually cause you to get dehydrated, so drinks with electrolytes, juices, and water, water, water - will help prevent the many heat related illnesses like heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rash, and sunburn.  Even if you are in the water don't discount the power of the sun!   For tips on preventing heat related illnesses check out www2.redcross.org. One food with sweet water power and great nutritional benefits is watermelon - check out some amazing recipes from our "Fruit-tastic Watermelon News For Your Summer" blog!

Have fun, be safe, and if you find yourself packing this week for your holiday summer vacation check out Krysta's blog of things to remember on your summer vacation "Don't Forget FamilyWize this Summer!"

Happy 4th of July from FamilyWize!

Donna Cornelius
Online Marketing Manager

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