July 4th is a very popular holiday throughout the United States.  Generally, celebrations of July 4th will include picnics and barbeques, beach and pool parties, and of course, fireworks shows, both professional and in the back yard.  All these different activities are a blast, but they all come with a few hazards that we need to be concerned with.

In order to celebrate safely, we have developed the list of tips below, courtesy of the Red Cross and Saint Peters Health Partners:

Picnic/BBQ Safety

  • Wash hands before preparing food
  • Don’t leave food out in the hot sun, and keep perishable foods in a cooler full of ice
  • Never grill indoors, and keep your grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, and tree branches
  • Never leave the grill unattended, and keep children and pets away

Water Safety

  • Swim only at a beach/pool attended by a lifeguard, or at home, ensure there is adult supervision
  • Children and inexperienced swimmers should wear Coast Guard approved life jackets
  • Never dive head first into the water, whether at the beach, lake or pool
  • Be sure to apply sunscreen, as the water will increase the damage to your skin caused by the sun

Fireworks Safety

  • Never give fireworks to small children
  • Never point fireworks, no matter the size, at people, animals, structures, vehicles, or flammable materials
  • Keep water close by as a precaution
  • If you are lighting fireworks, be sure to wear eye protection
  • Light only one firework at a time
  • Never try to relight “duds”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place, away from children and pets

General Safety

  • Apply plenty of sunscreen if planning to be outside for long periods of time
  • Be sure to hydrate with water and electrolytes
  • If you plan to drink, do so responsibly, and get a ride

If you simply follow these tips over the upcoming holiday weekend, you can ensure that you and your family are as safe as can be.  Happy July 4th everyone and stay safe!