Ill. Dept. of Health offers Fourth of July safety tips - FOX 32 News Chicago

Ill. Dept. of Health offers Fourth of July safety tips

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FOX 32 Photo | Katie Majewski FOX 32 Photo | Katie Majewski
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Illinois Department of Public Health has offered a number of health and safety tips to avoid injury and illness over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

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“We want everyone to stay safe while celebrating the holiday and throughout the summer. I encourage all Illinois residents to use and share these tips for a more enjoyable summer,” advised Dr. Hasbrouck.

Hasbrouck advises people to use safety precautions when swimming at the beach, lake and swimming pool:

• Supervise young children around water

• Always use life jackets and secure personal flotation devices

• Avoid alcohol while supervising children and before or during swimming, boating, or waterskiing

• Shower before you enter a swimming pool and do not swim if you have diarrhea

• Be aware of the local weather conditions and forecast, especially watch for thunderstorms with lightening

• Know and obey the posted warnings about beach conditions

• Pay attention to lifeguards and posted instructions

• Prevent access to water when pool is not in use

Hasbrouck says it is also important to be safe in the sun:

• Never leave anyone, including pets, alone in a closed, parked vehicle

• Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before going outside

• Increase your intake of fluids - drink more liquid than your thirst indicates; avoid alcohol and caffeine

• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loosing-fitting clothing

• Be aware of heat exhaustion symptoms: heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, clammy skin, pale or flushed complexion, and fast and shallow breathing

Hasbrouck also says to take these precautions to avoid foodborne illness:

• Wash hands and keep surfaces clean

• Make sure all meat and poultry are properly cooked

• Use a clean plate and utensils when taking food off the grill

• Keep hot food hot and cold food cold

• Refrigerate leftovers within two hours, and if you have doubts, throw it out

Hasbrouck said it is important to use insect repellent to prevent West Nile virus:

• WEAR INSECT REPELLENT. Apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions.

• Avoid being outside during prime mosquito-biting hours, dusk to dawn

• Avoid tick-infested areas, such as the woods and high grasses

• Remove ticks attached to the body using a pair of tweezers and call your health care provider if you develop a rash, fever or body aches during the 1 to 3 weeks following a bite

• Check with a veterinarian about preventing tickborne diseases in pets as they can carry ticks into the home

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