Faith Community Health System shares important tips to make upcoming holiday weekend safe.

The Independence Day holiday is upon us, and many Americans will be celebrating with fireworks, food, and fun. No matter how you choose to celebrate the upcoming holiday, officials at Faith Community Health System (FCHS) encourage you to make health and safety a priority.

“Our nation’s birthday is always a celebration, but a joyous time can quickly turn into a disaster if you and your loved ones do not celebrate safely,” explains Joy Henry, Chief Nursing Officer of FCHS. “It is critical that we all take essential precautions this coming holiday weekend.”

To promote health and safety, FCHS is sharing five tips that everyone should keep in mind during the upcoming holiday weekend.

Don’t let the sun and heat bring you down

No matter the time of day, high temperatures can pose various health risks and strain on your body.

When participating in our door activates, remember to always stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you are planning to be very active, such as participating in sports or other vigorous activities, sports drinks with electrolytes might be a great alternative to water.

Fresh fruits and vegetables that contain high water content, such as strawberries, pineapple, celery, and iceberg lettuce are all great foods to consume outdoors. They are all packed with lots of water that will help you stay hydrated.

In addition to hydration, using plenty of sunblock outdoors can help protect your skin from sun damage. Typically, sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher is recommended.

Practice caution at the pool and lakes

Pools and lakes are a popular way many families keep cool in the summer – especially during holidays. With water sports being among the top pastimes, it is also linked to numerous deaths and injuries.

It is estimated that more than 3,400 fatal unintentional drownings occur each year in the U.S., with as much as three percent occurring in Texas.

You can avoid a drowning in your family by never swimming alone. Children, especially, should always be supervised when near bodies of water.

Be mindful of how food is handled outdoors

Leaving food outdoors can bring food-borne illness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests never leaving food out for more than an hour when outdoor temperatures are above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and more than two hours any other time.

Also, foods that require refrigeration should be placed in a cooler with plenty of ice and freezing packs to hold a temperature of at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Avoid alcohol

Studies show that the Fourth of July Holiday ranks second, next to New Year’s Eve, for alcohol-related traffic accidents. Also, statistics indicate a higher prevalence of driving under the influence in rural versus urban areas. 

Nationwide, fatality rates of automobile accidents for both teens and adults were twice as high in rural areas. In Texas, overall cases of drunk driving during Independence Day has shown to increase according to analysis of drunk driving crash data from 2010 to 2017. Statistics show that alcohol-related crashes have increased by 28.5 percent, with related fatalities increasing by 34.55 percent.

The best way to ensure that everyone in your community stays safe is to refrain from alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, and liquor. If you or a loved one does choose to drink, please do not plan to operate a motor vehicle such as a car or boat.

Always let the professionals handle fireworks

Fireworks are synonymous with Independence Day, but the thrill and wonder of fireworks can also bring pain and sometimes death if not handled properly.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 36 percent of fireworks injuries are sustained to hands and fingers, followed 19 percent equally to eyes and heads/faces/ears. More than 50 percent of injuries are burns.

Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. In addition, it is recommended that individuals opt to enjoy professional fireworks shows.

Henry reminds everyone to always call 911 in the event of an emergency. To learn about local healthcare programs and services or to find a provider, please visit

About Faith Community Health System
Founded in 1958, Faith Community Health System (FCHS) provides healthcare services for residents of Jack County. Anchored by Faith Community Hospital, the local healthcare provider offers a wealth of medical services, including in-patient care, minor surgeries, obstetrics, a Level IV 24-hour trauma center and advanced radiology services (including CT & MRI scanning), an outpatient lab, physical therapy, social services, minor surgical services, patient education, 3 rural health clinics and more. FCHS now serves patients from a new $28 million, 87,000-square-foot replacement hospital facility and $2 million, 10,000-square-foot wellness center. For additional information, please visit