June 30, 2023
Be safer this summer by following these tips
MOBILE, Ala. — Summer has finally arrived, and the Fourth of July is just around the corner. However, many health and safety challenges come with the large amount of fun.
“As we approach summer, we need to be aware of potential safety hazards during this time of year,” said Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County. “If you are thinking about using fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July, be sure to find out if they are legal where you live, and remember that children should never play with fireworks.
“Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are just too dangerous. If you give your child a sparkler, make sure your child keeps it outside and away from their face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to melt gold. Also, make sure eyes are protected by wearing proper eyewear — either safety glasses or goggles, with lenses that are high impact resistant.”
Dr. Michaels also recommends being extra careful while traveling.
“There will be a lot of people on the road during this holiday,” he said. “Although you may be a safe driver, the driver in the other car might not be. So, please wear your seat belt and do not become one of the more than 60 percent of people killed in car accidents each year who were not wearing seat belts.
“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there were 3,142 people killed by distracted driving in 2019. It is estimated that 8.7 percent of all car crash fatalities were due to distracted driving in 2019. Texting and social media have become one of the most common forms of distracted driving. So, when you get behind the wheel, put your phone away.”
If you are going to be outside enjoying July 4th activities, follow these pointers:
• Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
• Limit strenuous activity.
• Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing at least 20 percent DEET to protect against mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs.
• Drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour.
• Rest often in shady areas.
• Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
• Use a personal flotation device.
• When boating, always leave a float plan in your vehicle.
• Use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher).
“There are many summertime illnesses that are spread during collective gatherings,” Dr. Michaels said. “Remember the basic preventive strategies of cough/sneeze etiquette, handwashing, and social distancing. If you are sick, stay away from others. Consider staying up to date with the COVID vaccination if not already vaccinated and other vaccine preventable illnesses.”