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Have A Fun And Safe July Fourth!

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Celebrating the Fourth of July is a time honored tradition. All across the country families and friends will be gathering to bar-b-cue, trade tall-tales, and watch fireworks.  As you gear up for your Fourth of July bash, we’ve got several tips to help your family stay safe.

Preventing Fireworks Accidents

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks display. But if you decide to hold your own mini-celebration make sure your child doesn’t become another accident statistic.

First, make sure you know the local laws regarding fireworks. Some states ban all consumer fireworks, while certain cities have their own laws prohibiting certain types of consumer fireworks.

Don’t assume your municipality or state allows the use of consumer fireworks you purchased elsewhere. And take note, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has banned some fireworks – including cherry bombs and M-80s – from public sale anywhere in the United States.

Maintain a “hands-off” policy for children. Even if consumer fireworks are legal in your area, make sure your children know only adults should handle them. Even sparklers, which adults often overlook, can inflict painful and disfiguring burns.

Educate your children. Because you can’t control the behavior of your children’s playmates, ask your kids to leave a celebration if their friends disregard the “adults-only” policy. Teach them to “stop, drop and roll” if their clothes catch fire. Make sure they know how to call emergency services in your area, and show them how to put out fireworks with water or a fire extinguisher.

Be prepared. Never ignite fireworks inside. Before you begin, select a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves and other flammable materials. Have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby. Read and carefully follow all safety and lighting instructions.

Maintain a long-distance relationship. You can minimize the risk of injuring yourself and others by making sure spectators are well out of range before you light fireworks, and by never:

- Carrying fireworks in your pocket.

- Throwing fireworks at anyone.

- Placing any body part over fireworks.

- Trying to re-light fireworks that malfunction.

- Mixing alcohol consumption with fireworks displays.

- Using homemade fireworks or explosives.

Food safety

Backyard bar-b-cues are a lot of fun as long as you follow food safety guidelines.

Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill.

When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishables in a separate cooler.

Marinades

Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Poultry and cubed meat or stew meat can be marinated up to 2 days. Beef, veal, pork, and lamb roasts, chops, and steaks may be marinated up to 5 days. If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it.

However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to be reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria.

Thawing Foods

Completely thaw meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. For quicker thawing, you can microwave defrost if the food will be placed immediately on the grill.

Transporting

When carrying food to another location, keep it cold to minimize bacterial growth. Use an insulated cooler with sufficient ice or ice packs to keep the food at 40 °F or below. Pack food right from the refrigerator into the cooler immediately before leaving home.

Keep Cold Food Cold

Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill.

When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. Avoid opening the lid too often, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishables in a separate cooler.

Keep Everything Clean

Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters. To prevent food-borne illness, don’t use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food.

If you’re eating away from home, find out if there’s a source of clean water. If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning. Or pack clean cloths, and moist towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands.

July Fourth can be a wonderful holiday full of great food, laughs, and activities. Have a blast and make it a safe one!

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