Tips for Avoiding Injury and Illness on the Fourth of July

Thursday, 04 July 2024 06:38

Tips for Avoiding Injury and Illness on the Fourth of July Featured

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OKLAHOMA CITY - As the Fourth of July approaches, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) wants individuals to celebrate the holiday safely.

The OSDH offers the following safety tips for this year’s Fourth of July Activities:

Firework Safety:

In areas where fireworks are legal or allowed with appropriate permits:

  • Obey all state and local laws regarding the sale, possession and use of fireworks.
  • A responsible adult should supervise all fireworks activities. Never give fireworks to children.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Make sure you, your kids and others watch fireworks from a safe distance.
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never light devices inside a container, indoors, or near dry grass.
  • Always have a bucket of water and a charged water hose nearby.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them and placing them in a metal trash can away from any buildings or combustible materials until the next day.

Safe Food Preparation:

  • Clean: Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and running water before, during, and after handling food. Hold friends and family accountable by asking them if they washed their hands. Wash all surfaces and utensils with hot, soapy water before and after preparing each food item.
  • Separate: Avoid cross-contamination. Use separate cutting boards, plates and utensils for fresh fruits/veggies and raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs. Also, make sure to keep these items separate when shopping at the grocery store, storing in the refrigerator and during preparation.
  • Cook: Grill and cook all meat products to the correct temperature. Use a food thermometer to measure temperatures accurately. Hamburgers should be brown throughout, with no pink in the center and reach at least 160 degrees. Whole poultry should reach at least 165 degrees, and leftovers should also reach 165 degrees when reheated.
  • Chill: Leaving food sitting out all day to snack on can cause abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. To prevent illness, refrigerate easily spoiled foods within two hours. If the temperature is 90 degrees or higher, refrigerate within one hour.
  • Ill: Do not cook food for others when you are ill. If you have had vomiting or diarrhea, wait at least 72 hours after symptoms have stopped before preparing food for others.

Grilling Safety:

  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent or enclosed area.
  • Grill out in the open, away from the house, tree branches or anything flammable.
  • Use long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, such as aprons, mitts, and closed-toed shoes to protect from spills.
  • Never leave a lit grill unattended.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case. Once done, turn off the gas or remove the charcoal carefully.
  • Allow the grill to cool before cleaning.

Drowning Prevention:

  • Teach children to swim at an early age.
  • Install alarms on house doors and windows and around pool areas.
  • Follow the rule of four, use self-closing, self-latching gates and fencing on all 4 sides, at least 4 feet high, with gaps no bigger than 4 inches wide.
  • Adults should supervise without distractions when children are in or near water, including bathtubs, buckets, toilets, ponds, spas, and pools.
  • Never leave a child alone near water. Check the pool first if a child is missing.
  • Select an adult to stay within arm’s reach of the child.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) protects and improves public health through its system of local health services and strategies focused on preventing disease. OSDH provides technical support and guidance to 68 county health departments in Oklahoma, as well as guidance and consultation to the two independent city-county health departments in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Learn more at


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