Independence Day is less than a week away, and the anticipation is growing as everyone awaits a weekend filled with water play, lip-smacking barbeques and grand firework displays. While the 4th of July can be fun, it can also be a hazardous day, especially for children who do not understand the dangers associated with some of the traditional festivities. This 4th of July, keep these simple safety precautions in mind when you and your kids are out at play.
Whether this Independence Day is sunny or cloudy, you and your family will need sun protection when outdoors. If you’ll be around water, remember that the sun’s UV rays reflect off of the water’s surface, so you and your kids will be getting sun exposure in all directions! Be SunAWARE and protect yourself and your family from the problems associated with sun exposure by following these steps:
Be Alert Around Water
Any body of water can be dangerous for children who are not under close adult supervision. The American Red Cross offers this safety advice when in or around water.
* Actively supervise children whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—designate a responsible adult to supervise. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
* Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
* Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone. This includes when boating too.
* Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
See all of the American Red Cross water safety tips.
Play it Safe with Fireworks
Each year approximately 8,800 people visit the emergency room due to firework-related injuries. The risk of fireworks injury is highest for kids ages 10 to 14 – more than twice the risk for the general population. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission asks that you please use the following safety measures if fireworks are legal in your area and you plan on creating your own celebratory display.
* Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
* Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Young children often suffer injuries from sparklers, which burn at temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees—hot enough to melt some metals.
* Never place any part of your body directly over a firework when lighting the fuse. Back up a safe distance immediately after igniting.
* Never re-light or pick-up fireworks that have not ignited fully. If possible reach them with a hose and dowse with water before approaching.
* Keep a bucket of water or hose handy in case of fire and to dowse fireworks after use.
See all of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission firework safety tips.
Have a fun and safe Independence Day!