Staying Star-Spangled Safe on Independence Day

stay safe

Staying safe during this year’s Independence Day comes with unique challenges. As northern Nevada continues to experience an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the community is urged to continue to practice physical distancing and wear masks while in public.

Physical distancing and wearing a mask won’t be the only ways the Fourth of July will be different this year, as fireworks shows and celebrations have been canceled to avoid crowds. This might make it tempting to celebrate with your own fireworks, however these celebrations can end up with a trip to the hospital for a firework-related injury. In fact, thousands of injuries and even death result from fireworks each year, with sparklers being the number one cause of injuries. Additionally, over 19,000 fires are started by fireworks annually. 

If you choose to use sparklers or fireworks, remember to do so only in areas where it is legal and the fire danger is low. Never allow children to light or hold fireworks and sparklers. Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby and stay alert. 

Here are a few other ways to stay safe and out of the ER while celebrating the holiday:

  • Wear sunscreen and limit direct exposure to sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Watch for heatstroke – symptoms include hot, red skin, changes in consciousness, a rapid or weak pulse, and rapid or shallow breathing.
  • Practice water safety – make sure children are supervised at all times, pay attention to local weather conditions and always swim sober. Follow flotation device regulations when on a watercraft.
  • Mind the grill – designate a safe zone around the grill to keep children and pets away. Make sure the grill is away from the house, trees, deck or anything that could catch fire.
  • Follow food safety guidelines – do not leave perishable food out all day and make sure to keep hot food on the grill and cold food in a cooler.

RELATED: Life-Saving CPR: Are Your Skills up to Date?

“It’s been a challenging year for all of us due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alicia Glassco, MSN, RN, Director of Nursing for the Emergency Department at Renown Health. “We have all made many changes, like staying home and missing graduations, birthdays and so many other celebrations to help keep our friends, family and neighbors safe. As Renown continues to fight the good fight for the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve, we urge you to do your part to have a safe and relaxing weekend and avoid a trip to the ER.”

RELATED: Take a Hike! Trails to Explore in Our Region