July 4th Safety

July 4th Safety

This July 4th, I’ve noticed everyone is having their own kind of fun.  Some are choosing to spend time at a barbecue with their neighbors.  Some are going to the movies.  Some are going the Disney.  

As for us, we enjoyed some fireworks last night with some friends.  It was set up the top level of the parking garage at the Mall near us.  It was really magical to be so close to the fireworks and see the kids faces light up.  One of them said, “This is the best day ever!”  This afternoon, we’ll be at our community pool with friends.  As for tonight, we are just going to chill.  I’m going to clean up the house a bit.  Maybe watch Star Wars tonight at home.  
Whatever you do, it is important to remember safety first. The American Academy of Pediatrics has some links to safety information and videos.  Between fireworks and pools, there’s always a risk for injury or drowning.  Please keep an eye on your kids, as they tend to not pay attention when there is a lot of people & excitement around.  In addition, with lots of people around & lots of distractions, we are less likely to keep a close eye on our children.
Beach and pool safety is paramount.  The most common thing I’ve heard with drownings or near drownings is, “I only stepped away for a minute.”  That’s all it takes if no one is actively watching your child.  Often, one adult is left to watch many kids.  This isn’t safe either.  Make sure several adults are in charge of this important duty.
It is best to leave the fireworks to the professionals.  They have everything set up to prevent all kinds of injuries, including eye injuries, skin burns, fires and more.  At last night’s fireworks show, there were two fire trucks in place.  This shows how important it is to have all the right personnel in place.  However, if you choose to handle fireworks, making sure you handle fireworks safely is important.  Wear protective goggles, use ear protectors, make sure fuses are set up safely & so that you can set them from a distance.  Keep a safe distance away from them as you set them.  Remember, you are a role model for your children.  Chances are, if you show them how to use fireworks safely, they’ll do the same when they are older.  
Fourth of July is about spending time with family, friends, good food, barbecue, water fun, and fireworks. Make sure this July 4th is synonymous with fun and safety. 
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About Nancy M. Silva, MD, FAAP

I'm a Board Certified Pediatrician. I've been in practice since 2000. I'm happily married with two children. I graduated Medical School from the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn, NY. My Pediatric Residency training was at University of South Florida, College of Medicine. I've been in private practice since 2000. As a medical student, I had the privilege to care for children at Kings County Hospital & Downstate Medical Center in urban Brooklyn. As a resident, I cared for children at Tampa General Hospital & All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. These experiences helped shape the Pediatrician I am today.

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