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July 4th Safety
Jul 4th, 2012 Headlines

On the fourth of July, it is your patriotic duty to have fun. It is even more important to stay safe from holiday hazards.

Fireworks are legal in some parts, but not all of New England because of the danger they pose. It is estimated that about 8,600 people were treated in United States emergency rooms for fireworks related injuries in 2010, as more than 80% involved fireworks that people are allowed to use.  The highest risk was among children ages 5-14.

Most injuries involve the eyes, head, or hands leading to vision loss, permanent scarring, dismemberment and even death.  There is a risk not only for the people setting off the fireworks, but there is one for the bystanders, too.  Many experts are urging amateurs not to use fireworks because it is just not worth the risk.

Sparklers are popular especially among kids, but they can be pretty dangerous as well. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees, which is hot enough to cause third degree burns.  For a comparison, that is a higher temperature than what melts glass.

It is important to keep in mind that there are more fires reported on the 4th of July than any other day of the year.  In fact, fireworks account for 40% of them.

A public show done by professional trained fireworks experts, on the other hand, is your safest bet for enjoying fireworks due to the fact that they are being done under controlled settings and regulations. After the show is over, however, no one should pick up any left over fireworks they find. Even if they haven’t discharged, they could still be active.

Similar to Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July is an eating holiday, so food poisoning is another danger.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, forty-eight million Americans get sick with food poisoning.  A large number of these cases fall in the summer when warm temperatures promote the growth of bacteria.

To avoid this, it is important to remember a few things. When cooking beef, check to make sure the internal temperature reaches at least 160 degrees.  Clean utensils and kitchen surfaces with soap and water while preparing food.  In addition, separate raw meats from other foods and chill raw and prepared foods promptly.



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