Hours before cookouts commence, officials are relaying an urgent reminder of staying safe on the 4th of July.
Officials are providing safety tips that they said are crucial to save lives, especially young ones.
On the day before the 4th of July, officials from around the state gathered at Connecticut Children's Hospital, reinforcing safety during the summer, but especially during a holiday.
When it comes to fireworks, sparklers are the only legal things to ignite.
While tomorrow's reality will be brighter and louder than sparklers, fire chief Reginald Freeman warned of the damage aerial fireworks can do in a residential setting.
"They can burn up to 3,000 degrees Farenheit. That can weld some metals...They can light dry vegetation on fire. Last year alone, there was $43 million of damage done to structures throughout the U.S." Freeman said.
In terms of cookouts, to prevent burns from a grill, emergency medicine and research scientist Dr. Steven Rogers suggests putting a three-foot child-free zone around the barbecue area.
"They love to learn, they like to hear from us. So if we talk to them and say it's a kid-free zone, they'll listen to that," Rogers said.
Sometimes, getting the yard ready for those cookouts can result in tragedies.
Rogers said he sees amputations annually because of preventable lawnmower incidents.
"We've seen at least two that I know of, in our emergency department this year that involve actual amputations and they involved young kids on mowers," Rogers said.
The biggest dangers come from riding on the mowers or being backed over. Rogers discouraged parents from drinking while mowing.
"People drinking while using a lawnmower or barbecuing can certainly contribute to an unsafe situation," Rogers said.
Another very important reminder is children in the car. There have been several cases in our state alone, where parents left them in a car, ending very badly.
Always remember to check the backseat and take them with you, even if it's for a short time.
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