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Tips and reminders for a safe and healthy Independence Day weekend

Tips and reminders for a safe and healthy Independence Day weekend

Many North Dakotans may have plans this Independence Day holiday to enjoy the summer weather with picnics, recreational activities, fireworks and other activities.

North Dakota Health and Human Services (HHS) offers some helpful tips and reminders for North Dakotans who may be celebrating our nation’s independence this weekend through the fourth of July. 

Food Safety

Proper food handling and preparation can help prevent foodborne illnesses. Each year one in six Americans gets sick from contaminated foods or beverages according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To enjoy meals and snacks safely, wash hands and surfaces often, keep fresh produce separate from meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, and use separate cutting boards. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins that aren’t eaten like watermelon. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. See more tips from foodsafety.gov.  

Farmers Markets

When shopping for your July 4th meals, consider shopping at farmer market, which can offer locally grown healthy foods. North Dakotans participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can use their EBT cards at participating farmers markets. Find one near you at hhs.nd.gov/applyforhelp/snap.


North Dakotans are encouraged to ride safe and legal, when riding bicycles, ATVs and motor vehicles. Using appropriate safety gear can help prevent serious injury. Find bike injury prevention tips, including how to properly fit bike helmets and more at HHS.nd.gov.

HHS shares ATV safety tips and reminds North Dakotans they can register for an ATV class at ND Parks & Recreation

Fireworks Safety

When one thinks of Independence Day, fireworks usually come to mind. In 2022, about 10,200 people were treated emergency rooms for injuries from fireworks according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. While enjoying the festivities this year, make sure to follow these simple safety tips

  • NEVER allow children to handle fireworks, including sparklers that can reach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit!
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Never hold a lit firework in your hand or point/throw a lit firework at anyone.
  • Keep children and other observers at a safe distance.
  • Keep a bucket of water close by for safe disposal of fireworks.
  • Observe all local and state laws.
  • Learn more on the fireworks page at CPSC.gov.

Responsible Drinking

Independence Day is historically one of the deadliest national holidays of the year based on alcohol-related crashes. Remember simple precautions when it comes to drinking alcohol responsibly. Not all drinks are created equal. The volume of alcohol varies. Know your drink, know your limit; visit hhs.nd.gov/speak-volumes.

Recovery Support 

Holidays can be a difficult time for those living in recovery or working to overcome addiction. HHS Behavioral Health Division shares these ways to make July 4th celebrations fun for those in recovery!

  • Host the event. Remind guests not to bring alcohol or other substances to the party. 
  • Have a plan. For those in recovery, if you think you’ll be somewhere with alcohol or other substances, create a plan in advance. What are you going to do if you feel tempted to indulge? Your plan needs to be specific to you. Know how you can excuse yourself. Remember, you’re under no obligation to stay at a barbecue or party until the fireworks start.
  • Have confidence in yourself. Remember how far you’ve come. Have confidence that you can navigate this holiday in recovery. 
  • Use support. Call or text Recovery Talk at (701) 291-7901 to connect with a trained peer support specialist for support 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The program is free, anonymous and confidential. 

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