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Fourth of July and Summer Safety Health Tips

SPRINGFIELD – As we head into the Fourth of July
holiday weekend, Illinois Department of Public Health
Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck reminds us of the
following health tips to help avoid injury and
illness during the summer.

FOOD SAFETY – for cookouts and picnics, temperature
is key to avoiding foodborne illness.

Use a meat thermometer to make sure all meat and
poultry are properly cooked – ground beef hamburgers
to 160?F and hot dogs to 165?F
Use a clean plate and utensils when taking food off
the grill
Keep hot food hot (140°F or above), and cold food
cold (40°F or below)
Refrigerate leftovers within two hours

The symptoms of most types of food poisoning include
severe cramps, fever, abdominal pain, nausea,
vomiting and bloody diarrhea.  Symptoms can begin
from 30 minutes to three or more days after eating
contaminated food.  If symptoms are severe or last
longer than two days, contact a doctor or health care

WATER SAFETY – whether at the beach, on the lake or
in a swimming pool, use safety precautions.

Supervise young children around water
Avoid alcohol while supervising children and before
or during swimming, boating, or waterskiing
Always use life jackets and secure personal
flotation devices - do not substitute air-filled or
foam toys for safety gear
Shower before 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
Know and obey the posted warnings that indicate
beach conditions
Pay attention to lifeguards or posted instructions.

Fourth of July-Summer Safety/Page 2

SUN AND HEAT – protect yourself against sunburn and
heat illness.

Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes
before going outside
Increase your fluids - drink more liquid than your
thirst indicates; avoid alcohol and caffeine
Wear lightweight, light-colored, loosing-fitting
Heat exhaustion symptoms - heavy sweating,
weakness, dizziness, nausea, clammy skin, pale or
flushed complexion, and fast and shallow breathing
Heat exhaustion treatment - move the person to a
cooler place; remove or loosen tight clothing; and
apply cool, wet cloths; give cool water to slowly
Heat stroke symptoms - hot, dry skin,
hallucinations, chills, throbbing headache, high body
temperature, confusion/dizziness and slurred speech
Heat stroke treatment - call 911; quickly cool the
person in a cool bath or wrap wet sheets around them;
if the victim refuses water, is vomiting or shows a
decreased level of consciousness, do not give
anything to eat or drink

TICKS AND MOSQUITOES – camping, hiking or in your own
backyard, guard against insect illnesses.

Mosquitoes can transmit West Nile virus and ticks
can transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted
Fever, Ehrlichiosis and other serious infections
Avoid being outside during prime mosquito-biting
hours, dusk to dawn, and apply insect repellent that
contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or
IR 3535, according to label instructions
Avoid tick-infested areas, such as the woods and
high grasses, and use repellent containing 20 percent
DEET or treat clothing with the repellent permethrin
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

For more information summer safety, check out our
“Summer? No Sweat.  A Summer Survival Guide” at


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