How to stay safe while having fun this Fourth of July
With Independence Day celebrations right around the corner, it is important to always remember to put safety first.
Mixing grilling, drinking, and fireworks can be dangerous, but with a few simple precautions, the risk of any injury should be greatly reduced.
When grilling outdoors, be very careful to avoid any cross-contamination. Do not place raw meat and cooked meat on the same plate or cutting board. It also is important to ensure the meat has thawed completely and is cooked thoroughly. Make sure hot foods stay hot and cold foods stay cold, and all of your food should be perfectly safe to eat and enjoy.
Although shooting fireworks is illegal within Norman city limits, many people will not be deterred by these rules or will simply go outside of the city limits to shoot their fireworks. Fireworks can be quite dangerous, especially for young children who have not been taught how to use them properly ans safely. Following just a few simple tips will help to keep everyone safe while they enjoy this holiday.
First, pick a designated area to launch the fireworks from. This area should be smooth, flat and free of dry grass, leaves or any other flammable material. To make a safe surface, just soak a wide piece of lumber with water and place it across the grass.
The audience should be a good distance away on one side of the display. Always be sure to follow the instructions and warnings written on the fireworks. Small children and pets should be watched closely to ensure they stay a safe distance away from the fireworks. Also, have a bucket of water or a hose ready nearby just in case any sparks from the fireworks start any fires.
Never try to relight a firework that did not go off. Wait for a while to ensure it is a dud and throw it into a bucket of water.
Some kinds of fireworks are illegal in Oklahoma because they are deemed to be too dangerous. Bottle rockets, stick rockets, cherry bombs and M-80s are all illegal in Oklahoma, so it would be best to avoid using any of these.
However, accidents may still happen even when following all of the proper safety precautions, so it is important to know how to treat burns. First- and second-degree burns that are fewer than three inches in diameter can be treated easily at home and heal quickly with minimal care.
A first-degree burn will look red but is the least serious burn. A second-degree burn will most likely blister and swell. To treat a first- or second-degree burn, run cool water over the burn for 10 to 15 minutes and take a pain reliever. Wrap the wounded area loosely with dry, clean gauze. Do not use a bandage because that will cut air off from the burn, and it will take it longer to heal. Change this dressing every day and watch for any signs of infection.
If a second-degree burn covers a very large area or the person has third or fourth-degree burns, seek emergency assistance immediately. With a third-degree burn, the skin will look stiff and leathery. A fourth-degree burn may not cause any pain at all depending on the extent of nerve damage. This burn will look blackened or charred. These burns are very serious so professional medical attention is a necessity.
But until help arrives, don't attempt to remove any embedded charred clothing or material because this could cause bleeding. Cool, wet compresses can be applied to the burn for a short period of time. The burn also can be covered with cool, moist sterile bandages. And if possible, the burn should be elevated above the heart.
But it is most important that these kinds of burns receive medical attention from professionals.
The Fourth of July is a fun holiday to celebrate with family and friends, but without the proper safety precautions, it can be dangerous. Following just a few simple tips and always putting safety first will help to ensure the safety of everyone.