Red Cross Offers Steps to Stay Safe on 4th of July

We’re all looking forward to the 4th of July holiday. Millions of us will watch fireworks, take a dip in a pool or enjoy a family picnic. The American Red Cross wants everyone to enjoy their holiday and offers the following safety tips.

FIREWORKS SAFETY

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Many states outlaw most fireworks. If you are setting fireworks off at home, follow these safety steps:

Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.

  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
  • 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.

WATER SAFETY

If your holiday plans include water fun, follow these tips to help stay safe:

  • Do your part, be water smart! Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well.
  • Adults: actively supervise children; stay within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers. And kids: follow the rules.
  • Don’t fool with a pool: fence it in. Enclose your pool and spa with four-sided, four-foot fencing and use self-closing, self-latching gates.
  • Don’t just pack it; wear your U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket – always when on a boat and if in a situation beyond your skill level. Inflatable children’s toys and water wings can be fun, but they are no substitute for a life jacket and adult supervision.
  • Swim as a pair near a lifeguard’s chair - everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards.
  • Reach or throw, don't go! Know what to do to help someone in trouble, without endangering yourself; know how and when to call 9-1-1; and know CPR.

PICNIC SAFETY

Keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs. Wash your hands before preparing the food. Don’t leave food out in the hot sun. If you are going to cook on a grill, follow these steps:

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