Hot sun, good food, and a friendly game of horseshoes. Over the years the 4th of July has come to mean more than just a celebration of our nation’s independence. It is a day of tradition where friends, family, and neighbors come together, often sharing meals, playing games, and enjoying a firework finale to finish off the festivities. Knowing that this day involves much more than fireworks, we have put together a few general safety tips to help you have an enjoyable holiday.
For Your Picnics & BBQs
- While no one wants bad weather to spoil their BBQ, never move the grill inside the garage. The National Fire Protection Association states grills should only be used outdoors and be placed well away from homes, deck railings, and overhanging branches.
- Keep it safe and don’t leave food out at the picnic for long periods of time. If the temperature is over 90 degrees, FoodSafety.gov recommends that food not stay out for longer than an hour. Be prepared for your picnic with plenty of coolers to avoid the risk of food poisoning.
While at the Parade
- In addition to your camping chairs, don’t forget to pack along a bottle of sunscreen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Protect your skin by applying a minimum 30 SPF strength and water-resistant sunscreen, and remember to apply it often!
- Don’t forget the fluids. When spending more time out in the sun, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated. Because alcohol and caffeine can lead to dehydration (dizziness, confusion, muscle spasms, etc.), water is your best option when it comes to staying hydrated in the heat.
When Swimming or Boating
- If you spend your holiday at the pool or lake, it’s important to brush up on your water safety. For example, did you know that drowning is often silent?
- Always wear a life jacket when boating, using an inner tube or raft, or using personal watercraft. Inexperienced swimmers should wear a life jacket when in, on, or around water. More information on life jacket fit and use can be found here.
- A tip to help keep your family safe is designating an adult to watch the swimmers and rotating often so one person doesn’t have to watch the entire time. Using this simple trick will make sure there are no lapses in swimming supervision.
- If fireworks are a part of your holiday festivities, keep in mind that fireworks are just as dangerous as they are fun. Keep safe by reviewing the tips provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
With a busy 4th of July full of family and activities, it’s always better to keep it safe. Whether you’re enjoying a picnic, boating, or shooting off fireworks, plan so your holiday fun can be memorable for all the right reasons.