Fourth of July festivities are a lot more fun when you aren’t sunburned, dehydrated or sick from food poisoning. The unfortunate fact is Fourth of July-related injuries are on the rise, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission firework injuries alone have increased by 25% over the last 15 years
But you can let freedom ring safely by taking a few extra precautions.
Mercy-GoHealth Urgent Care providers offer these top safety recommendations:
- Stay away from sparklers! Skip dangerous home firework displays (including sparklers) and opt for your town’s celebration in the sky. Less than 1% of firework injuries happen at professionally staged firework displays.
- When to go to urgent care: Seek medical attention if you have minor burns, cuts or scrapes associated with home firework displays.
- Protect yourself from the sun. One bad sunburn as a child or adolescent can double the risk of melanoma for that child later in life. The general rule to avoid sunburn: Apply UVA/UVB sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher, every two hours.
- When to go to urgent care: If you develop heat rash, swollen lymph nodes, fever or chills.
- Prevent heat-related illness. Heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke can escalate in the afternoon heat, so avoid the hottest part of the day. Stay hydrated, in the shade and even carry a personal fan to keep comfortable.
- When to go to urgent care: If you feel weak or dehydrated, urgent care can help get you back on your feet or advise if emergency care is required.
- Fight dehydration. Children get dehydrated faster than adults. If your child does not drink a lot, encourage them to take frequent small sips when outdoors and avoid sugary drinks that can make dehydration worse.
- When to go to urgent care: Seek medical attention if a child develops signs of dehydration, such as sunken eyes, flushed skin, lack of tears when crying, infrequent urination and lethargy.
- Avoid food poisoning. Nearly 48 million food poisoning cases are reported each year, caused by bacteria present in spoiled food. Since food spoils when served at the wrong temperature, make sure that picnic potato salad is on ice. And, if it’s been sitting out in the sun, skip that potato salad and opt for the chips!
- When to go to urgent care: If your symptoms persist and do not resolve within 24 hours visit urgent care.