AMES, Iowa -- Fireworks and picnics go hand-in-hand with the Fourth of July as Iowans head full stride into the fun-in-the-sun season.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety urges everyone to have a safe holiday and gives several safety tips at its Web site, including
• limit sparklers to people age 12 and older
• use fireworks and sparklers only outdoors
• use fireworks as intended; do not alter them
Iowa State University Extension offers several safety tips for summer safety. Get answers to grilling questions from AnswerLine online or call (800) 262-3804. One tidbit of information, "Why is rare hamburger a food poisoning risk but not rare steak?" The answer: Rare hamburger is more of a risk than steak for one basic reason: the pathogens become internalized inside the ground beef.
Find more grill safety tips at www.extension.iastate.edu/healthnutrition/grilling.htm such as
• check tubes that lead into the burner for blockage from insects, spiders or food grease
• check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks
• place a grill at least 10 feet away from buildings. Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport or porch.
Guidelines for handling, cooking, and serving food safely can be found at the ISU Extension Food Safety Project Web site. Learn about cross contamination, food thermometers and handwashing, cleaning and sanitizing at this site.
For sun safety tips, see Shirts and Stuff for Sun Safety, PM 1862. This flier explains steps to take to reduce exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UVR) through clothing selection and sunscreens. Some tips include
• darker colors usually absorb more UVR than undyed fabrics
• tighter weaves or knits reduce direct UVR hitting the skin
• thicker fabrics reduce UVR penetration
For more sun safety tips, visit the ISU Extension protective clothing site and a listing of skin cancer resources. Also see other publications including, Is it time to change your hat? PM 1683, and How shady is your t-shirt? PM 1916.