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Have Fun and Stay Safe this Fourth of July with these Tips, Fun Facts and Food

The most important thing to remember this Fourth of July is the safety of you and others around you. Celebrate Independence Day with friends and family while staying safe and responsible. Here is almost everything you need to know to be safe, eat well, and have fun!

11 Tips for a Safe Fourth of July

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com

Be a safe swimmer. Water sports and fireworks are two of the biggest pastimes for Fourth of July celebrations, and these are both linked to numerous deaths and injuries each year. Never swim alone, and make sure that kids’ water play is adequately supervised at all times. Manydrownings occur when parents and other adults are nearby, so always have a designated chaperone for water play and don’t assume that others are watching the kids. Statistics show that most young children who drown in pools have been out of sight for less than five minutes.

Fireworks Safety. If fireworks are legal in your community and are a part of your celebration, be sure to store and use them safely. Keep the kids away from the fireworks at all times, and keep spectators at a safe distance. Attending fireworks displays organized by professionals is always safer than trying to put on your own show.

Use alcohol responsiblyAlcohol and fireworks can be a hazardous and dangerous combination. Also, have a designated driver to bring party goers home from the festivities. Remember also that alcohol and swimming can be as dangerous as drinking and driving.

Boat Safety. Lakes, waterways, and seas will be crowded with boats. Review safe boating practices, and don’t drink and drive your boat. Alcohol consumption while operating boats or other motorized water vessels is illegal, and you can be arrested for a BWI (boating under the influence!). Be sure that you have an adequate number of life preservers on hand for extra guests. Become familiar with the boating laws in your area.

Cover food and beverages outdoors to discourage bees and wasps from attending your party. If someone is allergic to insect stings, you should have an emergency anaphylaxis kit on hand. Wearing shoes, long sleeves, and long pants outdoors and avoiding fragranced body products, bright colors, and sugary drinks can also help prevent bee stings.

Apply sunscreen both before and during an outdoor party. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause both premature aging and skin cancer in the long term, and a painful burn the next day. Even those with darker skin should use a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, according to recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatology.

Check prescription medications you are taking to assure you will not have a sun-sensitizing drug reaction to the medication.

Camping/Hiking Safety. If you’ll be hiking or camping in an area where ticks are abundant, wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and long pants tucked into socks or boots to protect yourself from tick-borne diseases. For your skin, you can use a tick repellent with no more than 30% DEET according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Products containing DEET should not be used on children less than 2 months of age and should not be applied to the hands or face of young children. Check yourself (and your pets) for ticks at the end of the day.

Heat & Hydration Awareness. Spend adequate time indoors or in the shade and drink plenty of fluids to avoid heat illness in extremely hot climates. The risk of heat illness is increased when participating in strenuous activity or sports, and those with chronic medical conditions and the elderly are also at an increased risk of heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke. Alcohol consumption can also promote dehydration and increase the risk.

Keep children away from campfires and grills. Gas leaks, blocked tubes, and overfilled propane tanks can be a cause of grill fires and explosions.

Don’t leave the picnic spread out all day. Allowing food to sit in outdoor temperatures can invite foodborne illness. The U.S. FDA suggests never leaving food out for more than one hour when the temperature is above 90 F and not more than two hours at other times. Foods that need to be kept cold should be placed in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezing packs and held at a maximum temperature of 40 F. While mayonnaise and other egg dishes are often associated with food poisoning, any food can potentially become contaminated. Adequate hand washing and food preparation can also help prevent food poisoning.

The Fourth of July 2013

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.

2.5 million

In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970
<http://www2.census.gov/prod2/statcomp/documents/HistoricalStatisticsoftheUnitedStates1789-1945.pdf>

316.2 million

The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth.
Source: U.S. and World Population Clock <http://www.census.gov/popclock/>

Fireworks

$218.2 million

The value of fireworks imported from China in 2012, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($227.3 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $11.7 million in 2012, with Israel purchasing more than any other country ($2.5 million).

$231.8 million

The value of U.S. manufacturers’ shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics (including flares, igniters, etc.) in 2007.
Source: 2007 Economic Census, Series EC0731SP1, Products and Services Code 325998J108 <http://www.census.gov/econ/census07/>

Flags

$3.8 million

In 2012, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($3.6 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/>
<http://www.usatradeonline.gov>

$614,115

Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2012. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $188,824 worth.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/>
<http://www.usatradeonline.gov>

$302.7 million

Dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation’s manufacturers in 2007, according to the latest published economic census statistics.
Source: 2007 Economic Census, Series EC0731SP1, Products and Services Code 3149998231
<http://www.census.gov/econ/census07/>

Fourth of July Cookouts

65.9 million

Number of all hogs and pigs on March 1, 2013. Chances are that the pork hot dogs and sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 20.3 million hogs and pigs. North Carolina (8.9 million) and Minnesota (7.8 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service,
<http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/HogsPigs/HogsPigs-03-28-2013.pdf>

6.3 billion pounds

Total estimated production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2012. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for nearly one-sixth of the nation’s total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (estimated at5.1 billion pounds) or Kansas (estimated at 3.8 billion pounds).
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
<http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/MeatAnimPr/MeatAnimPr-04-25-2013.pdf>

6

Number of states in which the value of broiler chicken production was estimated at $1 billion or greater between December 2011 and November 2012. There is a good chance that one of these states — Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas — is the source of your barbecued chicken.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
<http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/PoulProdVa/PoulProdVa-04-29-2013.pdf>

345 million

Acreage planted of potatoes in Idaho in 2012, the most in the nation. Washington followed with 165 million acres. The total 2012 potato crop is forecast to exceed 467 million hundredweight (cwt), the highest level since 2000 when 523 million cwt was produced. Potato salad is a popular food item at Fourth of July barbecues.
Source: USDA, National Agriculture Statistics Service, Economic Research Service
<http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/CropProdSu/CropProdSu-01-11-2013.pdf>
<http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/vgs-vegetables-and-pulses-outlook/vgs353.aspx>

Source: http://www.census.gov

Fourth of July American Recipes

Recipes from Famous Americans

Healthy Recipes

  • Diabetes Recipes (PDF)  – Tasty Recipes for People with Diabetes and Their Families is a book filled with healthy Latin American recipes.
  • Farmer’s Market Recipes  – Ideas to prepare seasonal food found at the farmers’ market.
  • Healthy Recipes  – Healthy meals for you and your family.
  • Heart Healthy Recipes  – Heart healthy recipes from appetizers to dessert.

Kids’ Recipes

Cooking for a Crowd

Regional Recipes

  • Jersey Fresh Recipes  – Recipe ideas for fresh, seasonal produce.
  • International Recipes  – Americans trace their family origins to countries around the world. These ethnic traditions are reflected in the diversity of our recipes.

Wild Game Recipes

Source: http://www.usa.gov