July 4this THE day for fireworks, outdoor barbeques, beach parties, and, after the fireworks, bonfires. All of that exposure to heat, sun, and sparks can result in some serious burns if you’re not careful. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission Fireworks Information Centerreports that approximately 200 people are treated at emergency rooms around July 4th. Avoid the burn by following a few common sense Independence Day – and every day – safety tips.
- Wear Sunscreen – Even on a cloudy day, the sun’s UV rays can cause sunburns. Make sure to apply a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater 15 minutes before going outdoors and to liberally reapply throughout the day. If you are swimming, sweating, or getting wet in a balloon toss, make sure to reapply. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen protection to these often-forgotten areas: ears, bottom of feet if laying out in the sun, lips, and if you have skin exposed on your head. Neutrogena’s Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Sprayis great for adults too.
- Save Your Eyes, Ears, and Neck – If you are going to a live outdoor firework display, bring earplugs and comfortable, reclining lawn chairs for yourself and your children. Sit close enough so that you can see the display, but far enough back that you aren’t exposed to the blinding light or sound from each launch. The light can potentially damage eyes. Fireworks noise can scare small children and damage hearing. Straining your neck backwards to see a fireworks display can place stress on your spine.
- Leave The Fireworks to a Professional – Lots of safety tips for this category! Leave the firework display to a trained professional. Don’t bring fireworks into your state if it is illegal. Never leave children alone with sparklers. Even if you think the sparklers are out, dip them in water to ensure they are. Fireworks are beautiful to view. Not so much fun if you are attempting to create your own. So many things can go wrong. For more information, check out the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) fireworks safety page, including their fun, informational video.
- Establish a Safety Perimeter – Honestly, there is nothing better than having any kind of food grilled. If you are grilling and have children in the area, please establish a parameter around the grill that children are not allowed. Even after a grill has been turned off, the coals and grill can remain hot for a while. To be extra safe, it is not a bad idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby. These same rules apply for fire pits. Never leave a child unattended while toasting marshmallows as they can easily trip and fall near the fire.
- Stock Up on Ice – In the summer, ice is great to have around to keep our beverages cold. Ice can also come in handy as a first-aid tool. If someone sprains a body part or if someone burns themselves, ice will be a great go to item to help triage the injury.
- Designate a Driver – It stands to reason that just like any other day, do not get behind the wheel of a car if you are not sober. July 4thhas the most road fatalities. If you have been drinking, have someone else drive. Even if you are sober, be alert of your surroundings and make sure everyone is using a seat belt and that your child seat is properly installed.
Enjoy the celebrations this 4thof July. It is a great day to celebrate not only with friends and family but to celebrate the independence of our country. This year marks the 243th anniversary of the publication of the Declaration of Independence of the USA from Great Britain.
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