Newsroom > DHHS News Release

June 30, 2011

Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356

Sound bites from Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer, are available at

Summer Outdoor Injury Prevention Keeps Families Safe

Lincoln – With the Fourth of July almost here, it’s time for families to relax and enjoy traditional pastimes such as barbecues, pool parties, camping and backyard gatherings. Here are a few tips to make sure your family has a safe holiday.

  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, but avoid those with alcohol, caffeine or large amounts of sugar.

  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure to allow penetration. Re-apply after swimming and every 2 hours while you are outdoors. Wear sunglasses with UV protection.

  • Children should use fireworks only under close adult supervision. Never allow young children to handle fireworks, especially sparklers.

  • Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area, on a smooth, flat surface, away from onlookers, houses and flammable materials.

  • When barbequing, designate the grilling area a "Kid Free Zone" for the duration of the barbecue. Keep children and pets away from the grill area until it is completely cool.

  • Use only starter fluid made for barbecue grills when starting a fire in a charcoal grill; do not add liquid fuel to re-ignite a dwindling fire. Before using a gas grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line.

  • Use insect repellent, remembering to take special care with legs and feet. A mosquito repellant with DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus works best. When using insect repellant and sunscreen, the sunscreen should be applied first.

  • When barbequing, cook meats thoroughly. Cook raw hamburger to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F and chicken to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F.

  • After cooking, keep hot food hot, and cold food cold. Bacteria multiply rapidly when food temperatures are not maintained. Keep hot food at a temperature of 140 degrees F or higher, and cold foods at 40 degrees F or lower.

  • Learn infant and child CPR before using a backyard pool. In less than two hours, you can learn effective interventions that can give a fighting chance to a child whose breathing and heartbeat have stopped.