Staying safe over the Fourth


COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Health offers several tips for ensuring a healthy and safe July 4 celebration by taking a few precautions regarding fireworks, food-borne and water-borne illnesses, mosquitoes and measles.

“If you’re planning to go to a fireworks display, a cookout, a swimming party, camping or traveling, there are some simple precautions you can take to help keep your family healthy and safe,” ODH State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary DiOrio said in a release.

Some safety tips include the following:

• Ohio law permits the use of sparklers and other types of novelties. Sparklers can burn at more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and should be used with caution.

• Cook food to the correct temperature and refrigerate uneaten food promptly.

• Wash/rinse fruits and vegetables unless you can peel them yourself.

• Drink beverages that are bottled and have a seal that is unbroken.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Bugs (including mosquitoes, ticks and some flies) can spread a number of diseases. Use insect repellent.

• Shower with soap before and after you swim.

In addition, ODH officials report that Ohio’s continuing measles outbreak is the largest in the U.S. since 1994. Parents with infants too young to be vaccinated with the mumps-measles-rubella vaccine should consider not traveling with them to areas where measles outbreaks are occurring, which includes Knox County and parts of Eastern Ohio.

Contracting measles is especially serious for infants younger than one.