4 Safety Tips for the Fourth of July

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The Fourth of July is one of the most exciting holidays of the summer. It’s a time for relaxing with family and friends, barbecues, and, of course, fireworks.  However, as one of the busiest weekends in the year, there are several factors that can lead to accidents. Here are four quick tips to ensure you have a safe holiday.

1. Be watchful of children in the water
Keep an eye on kids who are near water. Be especially watchful of younger children and those who aren’t strong swimmers. Make sure you are within arm’s length in case there’s an accident, and don’t allow children to run, push or dunk each other.

2. Cook and grill safely
From 2009 to 2013, an average of 8,900 home fires involved grills, barbecues or hibachis, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Whether you are grilling at home or at a park, make sure to always monitor the grill and keep little ones and pets at least 3 feet away from it. If you’re using a gas grill, make sure that it’s clean and that there’s nothing blocking the tubes that lead from the gas tank to the grill. Additionally, to ensure the grill is safely off, turn off the gas tank first before turning off the grill burners.

3. Keep children away from fireworks
Children should never play with fireworks. If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burns and other injuries for both children and adults. The best way to protect your family is to not use fireworks at your home. Instead, attend a public show in your community, with trained professionals putting on the show. However, if you decide to light fireworks at your home, please read these safety tips put out by Kids Health.

4. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
Even if the sun is not visible, you are still susceptible to its harmful rays. If you plan on spending some of your Fourth of July outside, be sure to use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, and reapply it at least every two hours – or more frequently if you’re in the water. Wearing a hat and sunglasses outdoors can also serve as additional defenses for your face and eyes while you’re outside.