Fourth of July safety will look a little different this year. In addition to the normal considerations to have a safe and happy Independence Day, we must also protect ourselves from an invisible risk — coronavirus. Northwest Arkansas is a hot spot for COVID-19 right now. MANA physicians recommend you stay vigilant and continue practicing safety precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. Here’s what you need to know to keep yourself and those around you safe while celebrating the Fourth of July during the COVID-19 outbreak.One of the great things about watching fireworks is that it's done from a distance! Here are tips to safely celebrate the Fourth of July during COVID-19. Click To Tweet
General Fourth of July safety
Food poisoning affects about 48 million Americans each year. People who get food poisoning don’t always need medical attention, but a serious case can require a trip to the emergency room.
- Keep different foods separated, especially during preparation. Don’t cut meat and veggies on the same cutting board, or carry tomatoes and lunchmeat in the same bag.
- Wash your hands, dishes, surfaces, and your utensils frequently.
- Cook foods thoroughly to kill bacteria that may cause foodborne illness.
- Keep foods out of the danger zone. Foods should be chilled below 40°F or kept warm above 140°F.
Learn more ways to prevent food poisoning and foodborne illness.
Overexposure to the sun can lead to dehydration, sunburn, and heat-related illnesses. Nearly nine out of 10 cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are related to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Cover up to protect yourself from the sun.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight; go indoors or find shade.
- Apply, and re-apply, sunscreen. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from UV radiation.
- Wear long, loose clothing that covers the skin for extra protection from ultraviolet rays.
- A hat, sunglasses, and SPF lip balm protect what sunscreen can’t.
- Drink water and stay hydrated!
Whether it’s in a pool, river, or lake, swimming is a great way to be active and cool off on a hot summer day. Just make sure that you’re staying safe while swimming!
- Avoid swimming alone.
- Children should be supervised by an adult at all times.
- Check the swimming areas for hazards before entering.
- Know who can swim and who can’t. Young children should wear flotation devices in and around water.
- Don’t drink swimming water; it can lead to recreational water illness.
Fireworks are fun and spectacular, but they are also dangerous. Follow proper firework safety to make sure that your Independence Day stays accident-free.
- Do not alter fireworks.
- Have a bucket of water and a hose ready when lighting fireworks.
- Only adults should light fireworks.
- Do not drink alcohol if you are lighting fireworks.
- Point fireworks away from people, buildings, and trees.
- Move to a safe distance from fireworks after ignition.
- Always make sure that fireworks are legal in your city before setting them off.
Have a plan in case of accidents
Accidents can happen. Know where the nearest urgent care clinic in your area is located.
MANA Urgent Care is open during the holiday weekend:
- July 3rd: Wedington Open 7 am to 4 pm, College open 8 am to 6 pm
- July 4th: College Open 8 am to 3 pm
Prevent the spread of COVID-19
Celebrating the Fourth of July during the COVID-19 pandemic can be done safely and responsibly.
- Consider smaller outside gatherings, or better yet, stay home on Independence Day.
- If you do go out, practice physical distancing whenever possible. Keep six feet between yourself and others.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Wear face masks when physical distancing of six feet is not possible.
- Stay home if you are sick. If you have symptoms, get tested for COVID-19 and isolate until you receive your results and further instructions from your doctor.
Remember that viruses don’t observe holidays. Help keep your community safe if you plan on celebrating the Fourth of July during the COVID-19 pandemic.