The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated holidays of the year and rightfully so. We’re celebrating the birth of, not only our nation, but the birth of democracy itself. And how do we choose to celebrate? With fireworks, family, sunshine and barbecues, of course!
But the holiday can also come with a few potential hazards if you’re not careful. Not to worry; we’ve got some helpful tips to make this Fourth a happy and healthy one!
Bring some earplugs
And no, they’re not to tune out your annoying cousin Larry. Fireworks can produce a sound output that is in the 150 to 175 decibel range. The World Health Organization recommends that adults not be exposed to more than 140 decibels of peak sound pressure and for children, the recommendation is 120 decibels. Ear protection is recommended for decibels above 85. So be sure to grab a pair of earplugs before you head out to enjoy the fireworks.
To keep your skin from matching the red, in the red, white, and blue of the American flag, you’ll want to apply sunscreen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology it takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. So you’ll want to put it on before you’re out in the sun. You’ll want to use something with an SPF of 30 or higher, that is water resistant and provides broad-spectrum coverage. Reapply every couple of hours to prevent sunburn. Follow the American Academy of Dermatology’s tips on How to apply sunscreen and you should be covered.
Being outside in the sun for a picnic or barbeque cookout can make you more susceptible to dehydration and other health risks. Keeping a bottle of water nearby will help to keep you cool and hydrated throughout the day’s festivities. Plus alternating each alcoholic beverage (if you are of age) with a bottle of water, will help to stave off alcohol-induced dehydration.
Practice Safe Barbecuing
So you’re the one who’s manning or woman-ing the grill; then it’s up to you to make sure that you’re practicing safe barbecuing. This means that you’re designating different plates for the raw and cooked meat, you’re marinating food in the refrigerator and not out on the counter, you’re cooking the food thoroughly, you’re not leaving the food out in the sun for more than 2 hours (one if temperatures are really extreme), and you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions for safely operating your grill.
Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a happy and healthy Fourth of July!
Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor – South Texas Vocational Technical Institute