July 03, 2024

Stay Safe This 4th of July: Common Emergencies and How to Avoid Them

The Fourth of July is a time for celebration but it’s also the busiest day of the year for Fire and EMS departments across the country, including here in New Mexico. With fireworks, barbecues and outdoor activities, the risk of accidents and injuries increases significantly. By being aware of potential hazards and taking preventive measures, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday.

• Fireworks are a central part of Independence Day celebrations but pose significant risks if not handled properly. Sparklers, often considered safe, burn at temperatures around 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause severe burns or fires. To stay safe, always follow the directions on fireworks packaging, light them one at a time and never let children handle them. The best way to enjoy fireworks is at public displays managed by professionals.

• Barbecues are another beloved 4th of July tradition but they come with their own set of hazards. Ensure your grill is safe by checking for gas leaks (if you’re using a gas grill) and lighting charcoal with proper fluid. Set up the grill away from flammable materials and keep children away from hot surfaces. Foodborne illnesses can also spoil your holiday, so make sure all meat is thoroughly cooked and keep cold foods cold to prevent food poisoning.

• Heat-related illnesses such as dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke are common during summer celebrations. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, limit alcohol consumption and take breaks in the shade. Sunburn can also be a risk, so apply a high SPF sunscreen regularly, wear protective clothing and seek shade whenever possible.

• Car accidents are the leading cause of injuries on the 4th of July. Avoid drinking and driving, and be extra cautious on the road. By being aware of potential hazards and taking these preventive measures, you can ensure that your 4th of July is filled with fun and free of emergencies.

Stay safe and enjoy the celebrations!

If you or a loved one are experiencing a medical emergency, visit pascackmedicalcenter.com/services/emergency to view our live ER wait times.

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