Keep Your Independence Day Safe

Three-quarters of Americans plan to enjoy the outdoor cookout experience to celebrate the Fourth of July Holiday.  With all that fun, come some obvious and not so obvious dangers.  Read on to see tips on keeping everyone happy and healthy in the backyard or at the park.


Mmm, the smell of BBQ in the air starts your mouth watering.  That sound of meat sizzling on the grill could kill you, or at least give you cancer. 

Do this to reduce your risk:

1.       Marinade meats for 30 minutes prior to grilling to reduce Hetercyclic Amines (HCA’s)

2.       Cook meat properly.  Burnt meat contains HCA’s

causes gene damageConsumption of HCA’s can cause damage to genes.  This can often be related to increased cancer risk.

3.       Eat only 4-6 oz. of red meat per meal (18 oz. per week) or instead eat chicken, fish, fruits and veggies made on the grill.

causes gene damageRed meat increases the risk of colon cancer.

mosquito borne illness


Ants are famous for crashing the picnic, but the mosquito is much more harmful.  Keep everyone comfortable and disease free by reviewing this information on those pesky, flying pests.

causes gene damage Mosquitoes spread dangerous diseases like West Nile Virus, Dengue and Malaria.  Mosquitoes infect nearly 225 million people annually with Malaria resulting in approximately 781,000 deaths.

1.        Mosquitoes are attracted by dark colors, body heat and smells from body chemicals like carbon dioxide and lactic acid.  Dress in lightly colored protective clothing and use repellent containing DEET. 

2.       Eliminate breeding areas by draining all standing water where they lay their eggs.

3.       Avoid peak mosquito hours: early morning and evening.

 heat stress 

We all wish for a bright sunny day for our holiday activities, but be cautious of the effects that summer time heat can have on your body.

1.        Drink plenty of fluids, avoiding sugar sweetened drinks.

2.       Protect your skin with sunscreen and wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light colored clothing.

3.       Be aware of symptoms of heat-related illnesses like heat stroke and heat exhaustion.   Click here to see a full guide from the CDC on heat stress illnesses.

causes gene damage Excessive heat above 80 degrees with 40% or more humidity can have even more serious consequences for those people with diabetes.  Diabetics should:

  • Check medication and test strips packaging and their glucose meter regarding effects of exposure to high temperatures.  Take the necessary precautions to protect them and insulin pumps from the heat.
  • Keep insulin cool, preferably in a cooler without direct contact with ice or frozen gel packs.
  • For those on a restricted liquid intake, they should discuss with their doctor how best to adjust to their intake during times of high heat.

FOurth of July


Keep healthy and safe this Fourth of July holiday!