Saturday, July 3, 2010

Enjoying a Happy, Healthy, Safe - 4th of July!

Who needs a party pooper? Well, if being the party pooper means that I will encourage you to make healthy choices and safe decisions - so be it. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Fourth of July weekend is the second most dangerous with Thanksgiving being number one. These are among the major holidays where most people drive to be with family or friends. Driving has become more dangerous as there are not only the drunk drivers or reckless teenagers to consider, but now there are the cell phone conversations or worse - sending and reviewing text messages while driving.

Beautiful isn't it. The sight of fireworks can be such an incredible experience. While most people attend various sites that offer professional shows, some neighborhoods have their own private, let's light them up display. Here's the thing, handling fireworks may cause you to lose your eye, fingers, hands, knee caps, legs - get the picture? It's dangerous. In fact, the U.S.Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that about 70 percent of the fireworks-related injuries reported in 2009 happened around the Fourth of July holiday. Furthermore, it shows that approximately 2,000 more Americans were injured in 2009 by fireworks than in 2008. Parents take note as the report also shows that 54 percent of those injured were under the age of 20. Why not leave the fireworks to the experts?

Throwing some shrimp on the barbe? Safety comes first. Be careful lighting the grill Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully. While watching the local news this morning, I saw a young woman speaking of her accident while laying in the hospital bed. She shared that the hot coal fell on her foot and while she tried to knock the coal off her foot, it crumbled into her sneaker. By the time she was able to get her sneaker off, her skin was completely gone. As a result, skin was removed from her upper thigh, hip area to cover her foot. Now that's just an example of many other dangers that can occur while handling the grill. Use tongs to remove any piece of food that may have fallen directly on to the coals. Keep children, pets and drunks away from the grill.

While we're on the topic of cooking on the grill, I would like to encourage you to add some healthy choices to the menu. Fruits, vegetables, water, fruit juices (100%), salads can really be a welcome treat for all besides it's healthy! If you must cook steak, chicken, burgers and hot dogs (all yummy treats) cook them thoroughly so that there is no chance of food poisoning.

Watch out for kids (teenagers) and even adults drinking and ruining the party and their liver. Drinking may also cause your relatives or guests to become sick or they may exhibit irresponsible behavior. Keep in mind that your guests may be driving and they can cause harm to themselves and worse yet others.

Heading to the beach for some sun ad fun? Well, sunblock should be applied and stay in the shade avoiding sun exposure for long periods of time. Sunburns are brutal. Drink lots of water (hydration is key).

Looking at the water and excited about going in for a swim - well, be careful. Strong currents may pull you and whisk you away that even the most experienced swimmers may not escape. Somehow sharks are lurking closer and closer to the shore so please be careful. If you have been drinking do not, I repeat do not go in the water. Follow the instructions of the life guards and stay within the boundaries set by the beach/coast guard. Be considerate to the life guards, while they are on duty to assist you in the event of an emergency, they are also people who deserve to live and not be a part of your reckless actions.

Finally, enjoy your Independence Day! Be safe so that you may live to share the fun stories of your celebration of July 4th.

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