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July 4, 2016

5 Numbers for the 4th of July

by Amanda MacM

Happy birthday to our nation! Here’s to celebrating with barbecues, the great outdoors, fireworks and friends!

And yet -- not to rain on your parade, snuff your sparklers or put a cramp in your cookout – we want to share a word to the wise: Besides being our national birthday, the Fourth has also been called the most dangerous holiday of the year. Do have fun! Just take a look at these numbers and adjust accordingly in order to keep your family safe, sound and happy.


Hand-held sparklers burn at approximately 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission – as hot as a blowtorch. Always supervise any fireworks activities closely, including those that “just” feature sparklers.


Independence Day is the deadliest day of the year for motor vehicle crashes, says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, with 118 lives lost each year, on average. A life-saving move: making sure that everyone in the car buckles up on every trip. According to estimates by the National Safety Council, if everyone used their seat belt at all times, 181 lives could be saved over the three-day weekend.

1 in 5

Newsflash: Your dog would not enjoy watching the local fireworks display. When a pet goes missing, loud noises like fireworks and thunderstorms are responsible nearly 20 percent of the time, reports the ASCPA. Make sure your pooch is kept securely indoors or on a leash throughout the night.


Don’t let mosquitoes ruin your picnic or barbecue – consider wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and use an EPA-registered insect repellant, says the CDC. Consumer Reports tests show that repellants containing 30 percent DEET provide just as much eight-hour anti-mosquito protection as stronger formulas, but are less likely to cause side effects like rashes or even seizures. (Used as directed, the CDC says, an EPA-registered repellant is safe during pregnancy. Don’t use repellant on babies younger than 2 months old.).


A 2014 British study found that the average barbecue-goer eats and drinks about 1,800 calories at a backyard cookout. To avoid developing a barbecue bulge, fill half your plate with fruits and veggies.