Safety on the Fourth

Safety on the Fourth

CSRA (WFXG) - This week, there will be tons of Independence Day celebrations all over the United States. Most of those will be outside.

Whether the Fourth of July is spent at a cookout, by the pool, or out at the lake, it's important to make sure that while you're having fun, you're also staying safe.

Officials want to make sure you keep in mind little things so that you enjoy your holiday and do not end up making a visit to the hospital.

Michael Meyers with the Augusta Fire Department said, "It's gonna be a hot Fourth of July. Make sure you stay safe. Make sure you don't use too much lighter fluid on that charcoal and make sure you don't burn that chicken."

He also reminded that it is important to stay hydrated.

Dehydration and heat exhaustion can sneak up on people quickly if they are not drinking enough water and watching for signs.

Thomas Zickgraf, Medical Director of the emergency department at the Doctor's Hospital said, "Things like fatigue, daytime sleepiness, headache, and generalized weakness are very common symptoms that patients will experience early on."

Zickgraf said if you're experiencing these symptoms, the first thing to do is get in a cool place or find some shade.

For folks out on the water, park rangers said to make sure your boat is fully stocked before heading out.

Park ranger John Hamblen said, "Make sure you have a fire extinguisher along with your life jackets, a throwable device on the boat, and a float plan when you go out."

These are things rangers will be looking for when they do routine stops. If you have each of these items, the stop will only take about ten minutes.

Whether you are on the boat or at the pool, it's important to make sure you are watching out for swimmers, and swimming at your own risk.

Zickgraf said, "Drowning is one of those things that happens very quickly. Most of the time, people can't call out for help, so it's very important that everyone is being attentive."

Even the strongest swimmers can become drowning victims. Sometimes fatigue is the reason for a drowning accident. Zickgraf said that's why it is important to take breaks.

Of course, if there is any kind of emergency, you should always call 911 for assistance.

Meyers said, "Fourth of July is a great holiday to spend time with your family, and not time in the hospital."

Zickgraf said that holidays are some of the hospital's busiest times.

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