Photo of Fireworks Display

How to Have Fun and Be Safe on July 4th

The Fourth of July is a time for celebrating America’s independence with family and friends, often featuring fireworks, barbecues, and outdoor fun. However, amidst the festivities, it’s crucial to prioritize safety to ensure that everyone enjoys the holiday without accidents or injuries by adhering to safety measures. From handling fireworks responsibly to ensuring water safety, taking a few precautionary measures can make a significant difference. Here are some essential safety tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July celebration.

Fireworks Safety

Person Holding Lighted Sparkler

Let’s begin with the main attraction….fireworks. Year after year there are many accidents when mishandling fireworks. If everyone follows these safety measures when using fireworks, there should not be a problem. Yes, you can have fun even when you take precautions!

  1. Follow Local Laws: Only use fireworks that are legal in your area. Check your state, city and county’s ordinances for what is legal to use.
  2. Supervise Children: Never allow young children to handle fireworks. Older children should only use fireworks under close adult supervision.
  3. Safe Distance: Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly. Too many kinds of fireworks going off all at once can cause fire hazards. Maintain a safe distance from lit fireworks.
  4. Clear Area: Light fireworks on a flat, clear surface away from buildings, vehicles, dry leaves, and other flammable materials.
  5. Water Source: Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case of fire.
  6. Disposal: Soak used fireworks in water before throwing them away.
  7. Duds: Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Douse them with water and dispose of them safely.

Grill Safety

Steaks and Skewered Sausages on Grill

We all know that food is the national love language that brings family and friends together. More the reason to have safety measures in place. It can be easy to get somewhat lax during the cooking and preparing of food (especially if you are outdoors grilling and there are a lot of people talking and enjoying activities). However, these quick grilling safety precautions will help ensure no accidents.

  1. Location: Place grill away from your home, deck railings, and overhanging branches or anything that could catch fire easily.
  2. Supervision: Never leave a grill unattended while it’s in use. Keep children away from a hot grill.
  3. Proper Equipment: Use long-handled tools to keep a safe distance from the heat and flames.
  4. Clean Grills: Clean the grill on a regular basis to avoid grease build-up that can start a fire.
  5. Check for Leaks: For gas grills, check the gas lines for leaks before using.

Water Safety

Pink Flamingo Floater

Swimming goes hand in hand with July 4th activities and is always a big hit with the kids. Protocols will eliminate confusion so it’s imperative that you put in place some family swim time guidelines and safety measures for everyone to follow:

  1. Supervise children: Always keep a close watch on children when they are in or near water. Take turns as adults to be the “lifeguard” during swimming time, allowing no talking distractions.
  2. Life Jackets: Ensure children and inexperienced swimmers wear life jackets.
  3. No Diving: Don’t dive into shallow water to prevent head injuries.
  4. Know Your Limits: Don’t swim to show off and exceed your abilities.
  5. Buddy System: Swim with a buddy and avoid swimming alone.

Sun Safety

A Person Applying Lotion on Girl's Arm

Severe burns and blisters can easily be controlled if simple steps are followed. Be aware of how long you have been out in the sun, apply sunscreen liberally and often and hydrate often with water. Sugary drinks do not hydrate but do quite the opposite. Do you remember the last bad sunburn that you had? Remember that and follow these tips to prevent it again:

  1. Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply every two hours.
  2. Shade: Take breaks in the shade to prevent overheating.
  3. Hydrate: Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  4. Protective Clothing: Wear hats, sunglasses, and light clothing to protect your skin.

General Safety

First Aid Kit on White Background

It’s better to be safe than sorry. ALWAYS HAVE AN EMERGENCY PLAN AND AN EMERGENCY KIT. Remember these four important tips:

  1. First Aid Kit: Have a first aid kit handy for minor injuries.
  2. Emergency Plan: Know the location of the nearest hospital and have an emergency plan in place.
  3. Avoid Alcohol: If you’re handling fireworks, grilling, or swimming, avoid consuming alcohol.
  4. Pet Safety: Keep pets indoors to prevent them from getting scared by fireworks and running away.

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy a fun and safe Fourth of July celebration.

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