It’s not every day you turn 150. This year’s Canada Day celebrations will be amped up to mark the big occasion, but with heightened festivities comes heightened risks. Summer long weekends are a lot of fun, but they also mean the chances of the following dangers go up. Fortunately, with some caution and a little preparation, you can stay safe on Canada Day.
Whether you’re heading up to the cottage for the long weekend or having a picnic in the park, it’s important to stay hydrated.
The average person needs about 3 L of fluid per day. When you’re engaging in physical activity or spending a lot of time in the sun, getting the recommended amount of fluid is even more important due to all the fluid lost through sweat. Signs of dehydration include dizziness, headache, and of course, thirst. To stay healthy and in good spirits on Canada Day:
- Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Don’t wait until you’re absolutely parched to hydrate. Sip from a water bottle or a glass of iced tea throughout the day whether you’re just lounging in the backyard or lying on the beach. And remember to drink water before, during, and after physical activity.
- Give children popsicles. Good luck convincing a group of kids to stop playing for regular water breaks. Save yourself the trouble by filling a cooler with popsicles, in addition to juice and water, so they have something to keep them hydrated while roaming around.
- Drink water with alcohol. If you plan on cracking open several cold ones, be sure to drink plenty of water to counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
Impaired driving is one of the “leading criminal causes of death” in the country, according to Statistics Canada. This includes both alcohol-induced and drug-induced cases of impaired driving.
Even if no one is killed or harmed, the consequences of failing a DUI test are serious. In addition to a criminal record, a drunk driving conviction can lead to jail time, a court-mandated treatment program, and a fine. Even if you manage to avoid jail time, legal fees plus the cost of installing an ignition interlock device (not to mention the significant bump in insurance premiums) will leave you wishing you’d stayed home that night. This Canada Day, remember:
- Impaired driving applies to other vehicles like boats, ATVs, or snowmobiles
- To eat food and drink plenty of fluids while consuming alcohol
- To make plans to get home safely or to spend the night with your hosts
- To consider the potential side effects of mixing even small amounts of alcohol with prescription medication
- To call 911 if you suspect that someone is driving under the influence
Fireworks can make for a pretty sight, but they can also lead to painful incidents like burns or blindness if you aren’t careful.
Fireworks rules vary across the country. For Toronto residents, Victoria Day and Canada Day are the only two holidays where they can legally set off fireworks without a permit on private property. If you plan on lighting a few in your own backyard, keep these fireworks safety tips from Canada Safety Council in mind:
- Carefully read the instructions on the fireworks packaging, especially the recommended distance for spectators
- Have a bucket of water nearby while lighting the fireworks
- If you are lighting the fireworks, wear protective eyewear and keep your face turned away from the fireworks
- Don’t attempt to relight a defective firework
Residential fires accounted for 74 percent of structure fire losses in Ontario in 2015. Barbecues are one potential cause, especially in the summertime. If you plan on firing up the grill during the long weekend, keep the following things in mind:
- Set up your grill away from things that can catch fire
- Inspect your propane tanks for damage
- Make sure your grill is clean before using it
- Keep a hose or fire extinguisher close by in case of fire
- Never leave a lit grill unattended
Nothing will put a damper on your holiday weekend faster than an unexpected trip to the ER for a burn or dehydration. By being mindful of these risks and taking precautions, you can stay safe on Canada Day and have a fun time celebrating over the long weekend.
Happy Canada Day!
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