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The first six months of the year evaporated, and July has now arrived. July 4th often means picnics, fireworks, and other outdoor activities; these endeavors, while filled with family and fun, can lead to disasters. Here are a few tips to keep yourself, your children, and your other family members safe.

Fireworks

The use of fireworks can cause injury, blindness, even death. On average, more than 200 people are injured every year in the United States due to fireworks, and in some cases, people have died.

Here are some helpful hints:

  1. Read cautionary labels on fireworks and handle as recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Always have a bucket of water and a water hose handy.
  3. Don’t re-light a “dud” firework.
  4. Soak all used fireworks in water before disposing of them.

More firework safety tips can be found here.

Remember that Casper and Natrona County officials do not permit the use of fireworks in the city or county limits. Obey the law. Instead, watch the community 4th of July fireworks display either at the Events Center venue, in a park nearby, or from your home. This can be a fun family activity so enjoy yourself with your family and friends and keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Don’t be like Video Dan!

Fair and Rodeo

The Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo starts Friday, July 7. With large crowds and lots of activity, many things can happen, including theft, drinks spiked with drugs, even kidnapping and worse, as in the case of a young Casper boy a few years ago. Therefore, be aware of your surroundings, who you are with, and where your children are at all times. Have fun but don’t let down your guard and do stay vigilant.

Food

According to Food Safety.gov, food-borne illnesses increase during summer. There are many helpful hints to keep your grub edible and safe during this season of the year; below you’ll find a few.

  1. Use an insulated cooler filled with ice to keep foods cold, and keep the cooler out of direct sunlight.
  2. Use separate cutting boards and utensils for different types of foods during picnics, cook-outs, and camping adventures.
  3. Wash hands, food, and prep and other surfaces frequently.
  4. Don’t let perishable food sit out for more than two hours.

Find more thoughts on food safety here: https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/preparation/food-safety/foodborne-illness.

Outdoor Activities

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), drowning is a leading cause of injury and death among children ages 1 to 4. Therefore, teach your kids to swim. Casper offers swimming lessons through the YMCA and the City of Casper, both at neighborhood pools and the Aquatic Center. Such skill can help keep your children safe in the water. Even good swimmers may find themselves in trouble in rivers with fast and unpredictable currents.  Be sure every member or your family uses a life jacket when swimming in and or floating the North Platte River or at Alcova Lake (or other bodies of water). The City of Casper has a life jacket loaner program through the Fire/EMS Department; learn more here: http://www.casperwy.gov/userfiles/Servers/Server_62983/file/Resident/Public%20Safety/Fire-Ems/Operations/Life%20Jacket%20Program.pdf

Other safety tips for outdoor activities:

  1. Use insect repellant while outdoors; mosquitoes carry diseases, such as Zika virus and West Nile – no county in Wyoming is immune from West Nile, and officials with the Department of Health have already issued a warning about this disease earlier this year.
  2. Dog and other animal bites can cause injury and illness; dog bites to children seem to occur more frequently during summer, and animals such as raccoons and skunks can carry rabies. Therefore, do all you can to protect your children from animal bites.
  3. Wear a bike helmet when riding.
  4. Make sure playground equipment is safe and the surface around is soft and well-maintained.


Learn more outdoor safety tips at https://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Summer-Safety-Tips-Staying-Safe-Outdoors.aspx and at https://www.cdc.gov/family/kids/summer/index.htm.

No matter what activities you have planned for the 4th or other times this summer, please designate a driver if you drink alcohol; don’t drink and drive, for your safety as well as the safety of others sharing the road.

Implementing these tips for a healthy and safe summer will ensure you enjoy this special season so much more!

You are capable
of more than you know.