The 4th of July should be a day when the whole family can spend time together barbecuing, swimming, enjoying fireworks, and doing other activities safely. With all the fun activities that go along with Independence Day, there are a variety of safety issues to remember, regarding food preparation, fireworks precautions, and pool safety. Whatever you may be doing this 4th of July, don’t forget to employ the following safety tips to ensure everyone has a fun and injury-free holiday.
One of the biggest safety concerns on Independence day is fireworks. In California, fireworks are legal for consumer use. If your family is planning on using them, it is important to know the facts about fireworks. On average, Independence Day sees 240 people with firework injuries in the emergency room around the holiday. Avoid an accident this 4th of July by remembering the following tips:
- Never allow children to use fireworks
- An adult should always be supervising firework activities, including playing with Sparklers. Sparklers are often given to children to play with, but remember that Sparklers burn at a temperature of up to 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
- Try not to buy fireworks that are packaged in brown paper. Fireworks packaged like this are often made for professionals, and could be particularly dangerous for consumers.
- When lighting fireworks, do not lean over the fuse. Light fireworks one at a time, and quickly back up to a safe distance after lighting the fuse.
- Never re-ignite fireworks that did not light fully.
- Never point fireworks at another person.
- Keep a hose or bucket of water on-hand. Douse used fireworks with water to prevent a fire.
Cooking outdoors is a hugely popular activity, especially on summer holidays like the 4th of July. If you plan on making barbecue or any other meat or poultry for your family, remember the following food safety tips:
- When buying the food, buy cold meats and poultry last right before you check out. Separate raw meat from other foods in your shopping cart to prevent cross-contamination.
- Drive directly home from the store-perishable food should be refrigerated within 2 hours, or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees.
- Freeze meat that won’t be used in 1 or 2 days.
- Use a refrigerator to slowly and safely thaw the meat before cooking.
- Marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
- If transporting meats, keep it in a cooler to minimize bacterial growth. Try to keep the food at 40 degrees or below.
- Cook food to the correct safe temperature. Meats should be cooked to at least 160 degrees internal temperature, and poultry should be cooked to at least 165 degrees. This prevents foodborne illnesses.
Swimming is another popular summer activity. If your 4th of July plans including swimming, it is important to brush up on your water safety tips, especially if there will be children around. To ensure your children are as safe as possible in the water, remember to:
- Never leave a child without adult supervision when they are swimming or around a pool or body of water.
- Educate your children on basic water safety tips.
- Have a phone on-hand when near the pool in case of an emergency.
- If a child is missing, look for them in the pool first.
- Avoid entrapments by keeping children away from drains, pipes, and other openings.
- Learn CPR skills and update them regularly.
- Learn about the basics of life-saving in case of a pool emergency.
- Share water safety tips with friends and family.
It is easy to have a 4th of July holiday that is both fun and safe. No matter what activities your family does, keep in mind these basic safety tips to avoid an accident or injury. Don’t forget to remind you family and friends about safety precautions to ensure everyone is out of harm’s way. Be safe, and have a happy 4th of July.