Tips for a Safe July 4th

Tips for a Safe July 4th

Celebrating the Fourth of July and the birth of our nation’s independence is the most anticipated holiday of summer. More than 300 million Americans will head to the beach, lounge by the pool, take in a parade, and of course, celebrate with fireworks.

While Fourth of July festivities are full of fun, make sure they’re safe, too.

Here are some tips ahead of the holiday weekend:  

  1. Be careful with fireworks. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that about 180 people a day seek care for fireworks-linked injuries from mid-June to mid-July. In 2019, at least 12 people died from fireworks-related injuries. More than 10,000 people were treated for fireworks injuries in U.S. hospital ERs. If you are using fireworks, read the warning labels and directions before lighting igniting them. Have a bucket of water or a hose handy for emergencies.  And buy your fireworks from a reputable fireworks stand or company.
  2. See if fireworks are legal in your city. Know the laws and obey them. While fireworks may be legal in your county, they may not be permitted within city limits – even though the city is inside the county. Instead, find out if your city is sponsoring a fireworks show for everyone’s fun.
  3. Use sun protection.The heat can be very dangerous to children and older adults.  Wear a hat to protect your ears, eyes, forehead and scalp from strong sun exposure. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and re-apply throughout the day. Also, be sure to apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent!
  4. Keep a watchful eye on the water. Whether you’re at the pool, lake or beach, always make sure at least one adult is watching when children are around water The most of drowning deaths happen in June, July and August.  
  5. Drink more fluids. During hot summers, it’s vital you and your children drink plenty of water. Your body needs more water when it is physically active and in a hot climate.  Watch for signs of dehydration. Excessive sweating, thirst, headache, fatigue, dizziness, cramping and less urine output are all signs.
  6. Keep the bugs away. Summer parties and vacations inevitably mean bugs will be present.  When outside, apply insect repellents with one of these active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. Always follow the product instructions, reapply as directed, and do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.

What plans do you have for celebrating Independence Day?

Source: 2019 Fireworks Annual Report,   Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2020.

Originally published 6/27/2017; Revised 2021

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