Fourth of July is hands down one of the best times of summer! We all love the warm weather, firework displays, and spending time with family and friends. Common traditions include firework displays, barbeques, as well as boating and swimming. To ensure that you have a safe and fun Fourth of July, we share the following safety tips.
1. Be a safe swimmer. Water sports and fireworks are two of the biggest pastimes for Fourth of July celebrations, and these are both linked to numerous deaths and injuries each year. Never swim alone, and make sure that kids' water play is adequately supervised at all times. Many drownings occur when parents and other adults are nearby, so always have a designated chaperone for water play and don't assume that others are watching the kids. Statistics show that most young children who drown in pools have been out of sight for less than five minutes.
2. Keep kids away from fireworks. If fireworks are legal in your community and are a part of your celebration, be sure to store and use them safely. Keep the kids away from the fireworks at all times, and keep spectators at a safe distance. Attending fireworks displays organized by professionals is always safer than trying to put on your own show.
3. Use alcohol responsibly. Alcohol and fireworks can be a hazardous and dangerous combination. Also, have a designated driver to bring partygoers home from the festivities. Remember also that alcohol and swimming can be as dangerous as drinking and driving.
4. Review safe boating practices. Lakes, waterways, and seas will be crowded with boats. Review safe boating practices, and don't drink and drive your boat. Alcohol consumption while operating boats or other motorized water vessels is illegal and you can be arrested for a BWI (boating under the influence!). Be sure that you have an adequate number of life preservers on hand for extra guests. Become familiar with the boating laws in your area.
5. Apply sunscreen both before and during an outdoor party. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause both premature aging and skin cancer in the long term, and a painful burn the next day. Even those with darker skin should use a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, according to recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatology.