Play it Safe This 4th

Happy Independence Day!

The 4th of July is today and many people will enjoy fireworks or fire up the grill for a backyard barbecue. We all know that the potential injury, burns and fires can result if we are not careful.

Between June and July more than 5,000 consumers can be treated in hospital emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries. Sixty percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days surrounding the July 4 Holiday. More than half of these reported injuries involved burns to the hands, head and face. About 1,000 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets, fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children.

Additionally, thermal burns from fireworks and the potential for sunburn is very high.

The American Red Cross offers the following tips to keep this Holiday safe and fun-filled:

• Make sure that exposed skin is covered with an appropriate sun block before heading out to the parade, family picnic or other outdoor activity.

• Keep small children a safe distance from hot barbecue grills and outdoor fireplaces.

• Always watch the barbecue grill when in use.

• Never grill indoors – not in a house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.

• Make sure children and pets stay away from the grill.

• Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.

• Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

• Never let children hold lit fireworks. Even sparklers can be dangerous for young children.

• Plan to attend a professional fireworks display instead of creating your own.

Burns should be treated immediately:

• Stop the burning. Put out the flames or remove the victim from the source of the burn. For example, you may have to put out flames that have caught on to clothing.

• Cool the burn. Use large amounts of water to cool the burned area. Do not use ice or ice water other than on small superficial burns; ice causes loss of body heat. Use whatever resources are available – tub, shower or garden hose. You can apply soaked towels, sheets or other wet cloths to a burned face or other areas that cannot be immersed. Be sure to keep cloths cool by adding more water.

• Cover the burn. Use dry, sterile dressings or a clean cloth to cover a burn. Loosely bandage them in place. Covering the burn helps keep air out and reduces pain. Covering the burn also prevents infection. If the burn covers a large area of the body, cover it with clean, dry sheets or other cloth.

• For minor burns and burns with open blisters that do not require medical care, wash the areas with soap and water. Keep it clean. Put on an antibiotic ointment (available from any drug store). Watch for signals of infection.

  • Critical burns need immediate medical attention. Call 9-1-1 if a burn victim is having difficulty breathing; more than one part of the body is burned; burns are on the head, neck, hands, feet or genitals; a child or an elderly person has been burned; or chemicals, electricity or explosions have caused burns.

Ok everyone, have a very safe Holiday!

Thomas Bliss
Northwest Response.

The American Red Cross offers training in first aid, CPR and disaster preparedness and sells first aid kits and other emergency supplies. For more information, visit or download the Red Cross first aid app available for iPhone and Android devices.

Play it Safe This 4th of July.  Don’t get burned!