Independence Day is a day of celebration, whether you’re watching the parades, having a barbecue, or setting off some fireworks of your own. Follow these safety tips to ensure a safe and fun filled day (and night)!
1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, and more sunscreen! July is one of the hottest months of the year, so be ready for SUN. Make sure to check that your sunscreen isn’t expired or dried out. Follow the directions and reapply after 45 minutes to an hour – and don’t forget your ears!
2. Not only can the sun’s rays burn your skin, but excess heat combined with vigorous activity can also cause dehydration, dizziness, and even fainting. Be sure to drink more water than usual and take a break to cool down every so often.
3. Parades are a great way to see your local schools, clubs, teams, police force, fire department, friends and family come together for one celebration. Often times the floats will toss goodies or small flags for children catch or run to the streets to pick up: if there are barricades around, be sure to let your children know not to go past them – and if there aren’t barricades, explain that they should come right back to you so as not to cross paths with the procession.
4. Prep your grill! Be sure your grill is clean and double check that there are no leaks in the hose or at the connection areas. Always have the grill open while it’s being lit so the gas doesn’t build up and ignite. Keep the grill at least 10 feet away from your house and anything flammable (under an awning, near siding, trees, etc.) and create a safe zone three feet away so children know not to get too close.
5. Since fireworks are dangerous and it’s obvious that children shouldn’t have access to them, sparklers are a great way for them to have a little fun without blowing anything up. Still, they come with their own risks, they are metal and do get very hot. Keep a bucket of water around for quick defusing, and have a safety talk with young kids that are going to be using them. This assures they won’t end up on the ground where they can be stepped on or picked up from the wrong end. If you’d still like your kids to have a hands on activity with a little less worrying, try bubbles! Bubbles are a great alternative to sparklers and are still fun to play with and look at.
6. Finally, FIREWORKS! Before buying or setting off fireworks, check your state laws to see if you are legally allowed. If not, search for something local that will have them on display where you and your family can safely watch from a distance. If your state does allow you to buy and set off fireworks, proceed with caution. Fireworks are still explosives they just have a fancy name. Have a fire extinguisher nearby, keep the area clear of anything that could catch fire, don’t try to light more than one firework at a time, and secure the base of the firework (whether that means digging a hole for it to sit in or making sure the ground below it is level) so there is no chance of it firing off in the wrong direction.
Bonus tip: Bug repellent! Make your own natural repellent that mosquitoes can’t stand: combine equal parts vinegar and witch hazel with (all or some of the following) mint, lemongrass, tea tree oil, and/or rosemary for a potent, human friendly, repellent!