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Stay Safe This Fourth of July with Tips from Silver Cross

The staff at the hospital in Joliet near Shorewood wants you to stay out of the emergency room this weekend.

The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and along with it, all the holiday fun and peril it involves.

The staff at Silver Cross Hospital hopes you won't be requiring medical attention on our nation's birthday, and shared some tips for keeping safe. Here they are:

Traveling in your holiday plans?

With more people on the roads during the holiday, it’s more important than ever to drive safely—which means being well rested, buckling up, observing speed limits and following the rules of the road. Also, carry a disaster supplies kit in your trunk and pay attention to the weather forecast for your destination. Weather Web sites can help you avoid storms that could impact your safety. If you plan on drinking, designate a driver who won’t drink.

Firing up the grill?

Nothing says Fourth of July more than enjoying a sizzling steak or hot dog on your backyard grill. During the holidays people are more relaxed and may have their guard down when it comes to practicing safety techniques — even when grilling. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. And keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire. And make sure everyone else, including children and pets, stay away from the grill. Finally, keep yourself safe by using the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.

Topping off your celebration with fireworks?

Here are some powerful numbers about fireworks injuries:

  • There are approximately 8,500 fireworks-related injuries each year in the United States. Of these, about 2,000 are eye injuries. A third of these injuries result in permanent eye damage and a quarter in permanent vision loss or blindness.
  • The most dangerous kind of firework is the bottle rocket because they fly erratically, often causing bystander injuries. The bottles and cans used to launch bottle rockets often explode, showering fragments of glass and metal.
  • Sparklers account for three-quarters of all firework injuries in preschoolers. Young children find these sticks of fire — burning as hot as 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit — irresistible to touch.

You can enjoy a spectacular fireworks show safely by following a few tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Council on Fireworks Safety: 

  • Do not drink alcohol and set off fireworks.
  • Always follow label directions on all fireworks to properly use them.
  • Have an adult present when using fireworks; never give fireworks to small children, and never leave older kids unsupervised with fireworks.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only.
  • Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket), and when you're finished with sparklers and other fireworks, soak them so you know they're out.
  • Never re-light a "dud" firework (wait 15 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.

 Finally, what's the safest way to spend your Fourth of July?

That would be to attend a professional fireworks show instead of trying to set them off yourself.

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