Red, White and Blue Can be Safe, Fun and Healthy Too

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RevolutionHealth.com Offers Critical Safety Reminders for Parents This July 4th Holiday.

This July 4th and all summer long, make sure your children are educated on the risks associated with their summer activities and know what to do in the event an accident does happen.

The 4th of July means outdoor fun and fireworks, but holiday festivities can present hazards for children if parents aren't careful. Simple steps can prevent injuries and keep kids safe. RevolutionHealth's Chief Medical Officer, Pediatrician Dr. Jeffrey Gruen, offers reminders for the most common July 4th activities.

  • Keep an Eye on Fireworks - Since 1990, there have been approximately 100,000 fireworks-related injuries to children in the U.S., resulting in approximately 10,000 permanent injuries. Eye injuries, including blindness, are the second most common injury, after burns.

In case of an eye injury, do not let a child rub their eye. Instead, place a protective patch over the eye. Do not apply ointment. Do not give aspirin or ibuprofen because both can thin the blood. Go immediately to an emergency room, even if there is no pain after a blunt impact injury. Serious eye injuries from blunt impact can occur days later.

  • Glow, Don't Sparkle - Some fireworks might seem gentle enough for children, but sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees, about five times hotter than a typical stove! Children cannot judge how dangerous this is, and they should not put sparklers in their pockets.

The rule is simple: Never give fireworks to children of any age. The best way to enjoy fireworks is at a public display where professionals operate the equipment, although make sure you are watching from a comfortable distance. Don't let your children handle firework fragments - they have been known to explode. If children want to be part of the celebration, give them glow in the dark wands or toys instead. This way, they can safely generate their own "light."

  • Water, Water Everywhere - If you participate in a private fireworks display, follow simple guidelines to ensure that you and your family stay safe. Use fireworks only outside. Have one or more buckets of water on hand to put out sparks. Wear gloves and protective eye gear. Realize that fireworks cause a huge number of house fires as well so protect against it. Remember to dispose of used fireworks properly.

"As a father of three kids, I can tell you the last place you want to spend your holiday is in an emergency room!" said Dr. Gruen. "This July 4th and all summer long, make sure your children are educated on the risks associated with their summer activities and know what to do in the event an accident does happen."

Additional health and safety advice this July 4th weekend includes:

  • Be Cool at the Pool, Watch and Walk - With summer in full swing, it is more important than ever that parents keep an eye on children when enjoying the pool. Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children under 14. Whether it's at a friend's backyard or a public pool, make sure children know that they are not allowed in the pool without adult supervision. Don't rely on swimming lessons or "floaties," and never leave a child unattended in a pool.

When swimming or playing near the pool, obey lifeguards and pool rules, particularly in public pools which can get crowded. Children should always walk, not run, to avoid slipping and falling. Set a good example for children by leading the way and enjoying the pool safely.

  • Fall-ow the Law, Strap on a Helmet - It can't be said enough: Wear a helmet when biking or rollerblading. A properly-worn helmet is the best - and simplest - way to prevent serious injury. Seventy-five percent of bicycle-related injuries would not have occurred if a helmet had been worn. While 97% of parents recognize the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet, only one in five (20%) actually insists that their children wear one.

Read more about summer safety tips for your children at Dr. Gruen's blog

Dr. Jeffrey Gruen is Chief Medical Officer of Revolution Health where he heads a team of physicians to provide overall health care and clinical direction and works to enhance relationships between consumers and providers of care. Dr. Gruen has had a distinguished career as a senior health care executive for the past 25 years. He received his M.D. from Northwestern University and completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He served as Director of Pediatrics at a health center associated with The Massachusetts General Hospital and previously served on the clinical faculty of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gruen also has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

About Revolution Health
Revolution Health Group LLC was created by AOL Co-Founder Steve Case to create products and services that empower people by putting them at the center of the health system. The cornerstone of the company is RevolutionHealth.com, a free consumer health and medical web site that marries expert content and online tools with the power of social networking. Revolution Health also offers premium services that enable companies to provide health content and customized online tools to their employees, an insurance marketplace and CarePages, the leading service that enables communication among family and friends when someone is receiving care. For more information go to RevolutionHealth.com.

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