July Fourth Safety Tips

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsAs we head into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Illinois Department of Public Health would like to remind readers of the following health tips to help avoid injury and illness during the summer.

FOOD SAFETY – for cookouts and picnics, temperature is key to avoiding foodborne illness.

  • Use a meat thermometer to make sure all meat and poultry are properly cooked – ground beef hamburgers to 160°F and hot dogs to 165°F
  • Use a clean plate and utensils when taking food off the grill
  • Keep hot food hot (140°F or above), and cold food cold (40°F or below)
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours

The symptoms of most types of food poisoning include severe cramps, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Symptoms can begin from 30 minutes to three or more days after eating contaminated food. If symptoms are severe or last longer than two days, contact a doctor or health care provider.

WATER SAFETY – whether at the beach, on the lake or in a swimming pool, use safety precautions.

  • Supervise young children around water
  • Avoid alcohol while supervising children and before or during swimming, boating, or water-skiing
  • Always use life jackets and secure personal flotation devices – do not substitute air-filled or foam toys for safety gear

SUN AND HEAT – protect yourself against sunburn and heat illness.

  • Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before going outside
  • Increase your fluids – drink more liquid than your thirst indicates; avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loosing-fitting clothing

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