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What are some good safety tips for Independence Day weekend?

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Quick Answer

Preventing fireworks-related emergencies and accidents, following driving rules, and keeping in mind food preparation rules when grilling outdoors are three ways of staying safe over Independence Day weekend. Other safety tips include wearing sunscreen when outdoors and keeping campfires small and under control.

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Full Answer

On average, 240 people go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries every day in the month or so around Independence Day weekend, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. To prevent these injuries, never let young children play with or light fireworks, never try to relight or pick up fireworks that failed to ignite, and never point or shoot fireworks at or toward another person. Keeping a bucket of water handy to put out accidental fires and to douse fireworks after they finish burning can also prevent fireworks-related accidents.

More people die in alcohol-related car crashes over Independence Day weekend than during any other holiday, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so don't drink and drive. If traveling over Independence Day weekend, the NHTSA also recommends wearing seat belts, following speed limits, and watching for disabled vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. It also recommends using the right car seat for young children.

Safe barbecuing means more than preventing accidental fires, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It recommends completely thawing meat and poultry before grilling, transporting food in insulated coolers to prevent bacterial growth, grilling food immediately after taking it out of the refrigerator, and using different platters and utensils for raw and cooked meat and chicken to prevent food-borne illnesses.

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