The U.S. celebrates its independence day in just a couple of weeks. Every year on July 4th, many people enjoy grilling, fireworks, a trip to the beach or park, and other activities to celebrate the occasion. Sadly, many have to cut festivities short due to accidents and injuries. Based on a Consumer Product Safety Commission report from 2016, the year 2015 had the highest number of accidents caused by fireworks in 15 years. However you choose to celebrate this year, please keep in mind the following 4th of July safety tips to make the most out of your holiday.
Fireworks are one of the highlights of 4th of July, however, most fireworks are illegal in most states. If you’re part of the 63% of the population who’s going someplace to watch the fireworks show, be sure to stay at least 500 feet away from where fireworks are being handled. If you have to handle the fireworks yourself, please take into account these precautions:
- Store fireworks in a dry, cool place where children and pets can’t reach them
- Do not allow children to play or handle any type of firework
Be sure to light only one firework at a time
- Do not attempt to relight a failed firework
- Keep water within close range
- Never throw or point fireworks towards people, animals or any structure
July 4th has become synonymous with grill out. Each year, thousands of people around the country look forward to attending BBQs. Unfortunately, some are injured by gas or charcoal grills. To minimize the risk of injury, never leave a grill that’s in use unattended. Always light and keep grill outdoors and away from walls, trees or other structures. Keep everyone away from the grill, specially children and pets. If possible, have a fire extinguisher handy in the event of a fire.
SAFETY IN THE WATER
If you plan on visiting a beach or pool, be sure to look out for a lifeguard (remember location in case of an emergency) and warning signs before entering the water. Keep hydrated and wear plenty of sunblock and protective sun gear. If you are an inexperienced swimmer, water be sure to wear a life jacket. Keep children supervised at all times, whether there is a lifeguard on duty or a safety enclosure in the case of a pool. If you’re at a beach, look out for ocean life and respect all animals and vegetation.
DRINKING AND DRIVING
Each year on July 4th, over $1 billion are spent on beer alone, making it the largest beer-drinking day of the year. With that said, it’s of critical importance to make the proper travel arrangements if you know you’re going to be consuming alcoholic beverages throughout the day. Luckily, now it’s easier than ever to exercise safety in these situations. Ride sharing services make it convenient to keep yourself and others on the road safe.
This 4th of July, make it one of the most enjoyable by making safety a priority. Don’t forget to update all emergency contact info and to take necessary precautions based on your plans and geography. As always, have fun, stay safe and contact your physician with any health concerns.