Fourth of July celebrations include fireworks, backyard barbecues, and maybe a trip to the beach. Whatever you have planned, enjoy the holiday and be safe.
Fireworks Safety – The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to enjoy a public display put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Many states outlaw fireworks. If someone is setting off fireworks at home, they should follow these safety guidelines:
- Never give fireworks to small children and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Keep a supply of water close by.
- Light only one firework at a time.
- Be sure the person lighting fireworks always has eye protection on.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
- Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
- Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
Beach Safety – If visiting the ocean and swimming, be sure to know how to swim in the surf and only swim at a lifeguarded beach, within the designated swim area.
- Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults while at the beach
- Keep alert for local weather conditions. Check if flags are posted for warning signs.
- Swim sober and always with a friend.
- Have young children and inexperience swimmers wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket.
- Protect your neck – don’t dive in head first. Walk carefully into open waters.
Rip Currents – Be aware of the dangers of rip currents and remember the following:
- If someone is caught in the rip current, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current.
- Once free, they should turn and swim toward shore.
- If they can’t swim to shore, they should float or tread water until free of the current and then head toward shore.
- Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
Grilling Safety – Every season people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Follow these steps to cook safely.
- Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent or enclosed areas.
- Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
- Make sure everyone, including pets stay away from the grill.
- Keep the grill away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that may catch fire.
- Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
Sun Safety – Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10 am and 4 pm. Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with a protection of at least 15.
- Reapply sunscreen often.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Wear sunglasses that will absorb 100% of UV sunlight to protect your eyes.
Written by: Beth Stefura, M Ed, RD, LD. Family and Consumer and Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County
Reviewed by: Donna Green, BS, MA. Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County
Sources: Redcross.org/news/article/safety tips