One of the biggest holidays in the United States, the 4th of July is celebrated and observed in a number of fun and exciting ways. Among these are parades, barbecues, trips to the beach, boating excursions and the most popular of all, fireworks. Unfortunately these activities, especially the latter, come with their fair share of dangers. In an effort to remind our customers and readers that we have their best interests at heart and urge them to stay safe this 4th of July weekend, we’ve put together a list of tips that can help ensure a safe, healthy and happy Independence Day.
- Always choose a swimming location that is monitored by a lifeguard.
- Develop a buddy system so everyone is always accounted for. It’s far too easy to lose track of someone in the water.
- Sober driving is just as important in a boat as it is behind the wheel of a car. Never take a boat out when you’ve been drinking.
- Always make sure your boat is equipped with enough life jackets for everyone aboard. Even the strongest swimmer could face difficulty staying afloat after a boating accident has occurred.
- Bring a water bottle with you and try to stay hydrated while out in the heat.
- If you start to feel faint, find a shady place to sit down, rest and drink water. Avoid drinking alcohol under the hot sun.
- Always wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater and reapply throughout the day. Remember that SPF 30 means that it will take 30 times longer for your skin to burn as it would without any sunscreen on at all, so you can still eventually start to burn.
The American Academy of Pediatrics continuously insists that people do not buy fireworks for themselves or for their children, yet the number of adults, teens and children who are injured by fireworks every year is in the thousands. Even seemingly harmless sparklers, which burn at more than 1000°F, account for 10% of all fireworks-related injuries. You can avoid this risk by simply attending and enjoying fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals. However, if you still prefer to set off your own display at home, here are some quick and easy tips.
- Never allow children to handle or light fireworks. Children are the victims of 40% of all fireworks-related accidents.
- Only set fireworks off on a flat, level surface that is open, clear of debris and far away from buildings, trees, shrubbery, people and pets.
- Always light fireworks one at a time. Only professionals know how to maneuver a grand finale.
- Never try to relight a dud. Simply dispose of it with other used fireworks as follows.
- Only throw used or dud fireworks away after you have thoroughly soaked them with water. This will cut the risk of a trash can fire occurring later on.
Follow these simple tips when you’re celebrating the birth of our nation and you won’t have to let any accident or injury put a damper on your holiday weekend.