Celebrate Independence Day While Staying Safe and Healthy
The Fourth of July is one of the highlights of summer, a weekend when Americans gather to enjoy the warm weather, parades, cookouts and fireworks with family and friends. No matter how you celebrate, following these tips will help you enjoy a safe and healthy day!
While swimming is a great family activity, it can also be dangerous if the proper safety measures aren’t followed. To ensure safety, always accompany children and teach them to ask permission before going near the water. Make sure children are wearing swim floaties or a life jacket. It is also a good idea to enroll children in swimming lessons to teach them how to properly swim.
Whether you’re at a parade, on the beach or enjoying a backyard barbeque, most Americans will spend their fourth of July in the sun. Sunscreen is crucial for avoiding the harmful effects of prolonged sun exposure and painful sunburns. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before outdoor activities and reapplied every two hours. You should also reapply sunscreen after exiting the pool or if you are excessively sweating. Another essential when partaking in outdoor activities is wearing sunglasses, which will help protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. And don’t forget to find shade often throughout the day to take a break from being in direct sunlight.
Barbeques and picnics are staples of every Independence Day celebration! While food cooked on the grill is delicious, it is important to make sure you are staying safe while cooking. Grilling should always be done outdoors to prevent fire hazards. Avoid grilling too close to something that can easily catch on fire. Make sure you supervise the grill at all times. While preparing food, always wash your hands with warm water for 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and be sure to use clean utensils and clean plates when taking fully cooked food off the grill. Use long utensils specifically made for grilling to avoid any burns on your hands. And remember, the only way to truly know if meat is fully cooked is by using a food thermometer. To ensure safety when grilling food, become familiar with the temperatures meat must reach to be safely consumed.
Bonfires are a fun way to gather with family and friends on warm summer nights, but it comes with risks if the proper precautions are not taken. If high winds are expected in the nightly forecast, you may want to reconsider your bonfire. Ensure your fire pit is in an open area away from all brush to prevent the fire from spreading out of control. Keep the fire at a manageable size and do not stand too close – flames can be unpredictable. Never use an accelerant for the fire such as gasoline or kerosene, and do not pour lighter fluid on the fire once it has already started. When it is time to wind down and end the fire, make sure you fully extinguish it by stirring the ashes and drenching it with water. These safety measures will ensure you have a fun night!
Fireworks are one of the best ways to celebrate Independence Day, but safety precautions must be taken. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets. Always have responsible adult supervision. Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.” Always have a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case of emergency. Once the firework has been shot off, soak in water to fully extinguish.
Whether you are attending a parade, concert, picnic on the beach or backyard barbeque, we recommend you keep these tips in mind. Independence Day is a day for celebration and by following these safety tips, you can ensure a safe and healthy gathering!