Ready for the weekend? Independence Day is just around the corner! If the weather holds up, everyone will be flocking to the beaches, pools, parks, and downtown areas to celebrate our nation’s freedom. Fireworks, barbecues, and celebrations are expected to be bigger and better this year, as July 4th falls on a Friday, making for a long holiday weekend; but before you fire up the grill or unwrap your firecrackers, check out these safety reminders to ensure an injury-free Independence Day.
- If you’re going to be outside for extended periods of time, be sure to wear sunscreen and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays.
- For cookouts, make sure your grill is placed far enough away from houses and trees, and have a hose or bucket of water handy in case the flames get out of hand. Never grill indoors and always keep an eye on the grill when in use.
- When preparing food, make sure you always wash your hands and avoid cross-contamination of common allergens and digestive irritants like nuts, milk, eggs, and soy. Use a meat thermometer to make sure everything is cooked properly.
- Keep an eye on small children around swimming pools, boats, and the beach. Always wear a lifejacket when boating, and have flotation devices readily available if someone starts to drown. It’s always helpful to have someone around who knows CPR and Child/Infant CPR.
- Never let children play with fireworks, and never attempt to approach or relight a “dud” firework. It could explode unexpectedly and cause serious injury.
- Be sure to buy fireworks from a reputable dealer, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Keep sparklers and other fireworks away from eyes; eye injuries are the most common injury associated with fireworks!
- Always have a source of water around to put out any fires, and be sure to soak your used fireworks in water before disposing of them.
- Do not attempt to drive, boat, grill, or handle fireworks while under the influence of alcohol. You put yourself and the lives of others at risk.
- When traveling, always wear your seatbelt and practice defensive driving. Holiday traffic can be frustrating and dangerous; always keep an eye out for aggressive or distracted drivers.
For more Independence Day safety tips, you can visit the Red Cross website. Celebrate safely this weekend!