Independence Day should be a fun, relaxing holiday for you and everyone you love. It’s also the time of year when injuries and accidents are most likely to occur due to fireworks, grilling, driving or swimming. Check out the below tips to keep your family, friends and furry companions safe this Fourth of July.
· Follow all safety instructions and warnings from fireworks manufacturers, and only use ones that are allowed within your state and municipality.
· Don’t allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, and always make sure adults are supervising any older children that are using fireworks and monitoring them closely.
· Keep a hose or a bucket of water nearby in case of an emergency. When you’re finished, soak all used fireworks in water before disposing of them.
· Keep pets indoors at all times when fireworks are in use. Loud noises may easily cause them to panic and run away from home in search of safety.
· Only use insect repellents and sunscreens for your pet that are specifically intended for use on animals. Ingredients that are safe for humans in bug spray and sunscreen can be toxic for an animal.
· Make sure to keep glow bracelets and accessories away from animals. If they chew on them, they can ingest the chemicals inside, which can make them sick. Additionally, keep pets away from people food, alcohol, matches and lighters.
· Before hitting the road, make sure you have a stocked emergency kit in the car with a flashlight, bottled water, a first-aid kit, non-perishable snacks, chargers for mobile devices, jumper cables and a multipurpose tool, among other items.
· Avoid distraction by making sure anything you might need is ready before you hit the pavement. Set your GPS, make sure your children have entertainment and pull over if you need to text or make a call.
· Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before you travel. Research shows that missing two to three hours of sleep poses the same risk of an accident as driving drunk.
· Are you using a gas grill? Make sure to check it for leaks. This is something you should do at the beginning of each grilling season. If you’re not sure how, watch this video from the National Fire Protection Association.
· When using a grill, make sure to keep it at least three feet from your home and other structures. In the event that the grill catches fire, it’s less likely to spread to your house.
· Make sure everyone knows that children and pets are not allowed within close distance of your grill by creating a three-foot safety zone.
· Make sure children never swim alone and don’t leave young children unattended near water. Constantly supervise children while they are swimming, and avoid becoming distracted.
· If your child is young or doesn’t yet swim well, have them wear a life jacket in and around the water. Make sure it fits them properly and they are wearing it correctly.
· If you’re using a small inflatable or plastic wading pool, make sure to empty it completely once you’re finished using it and turn it upside down. Even a small amount of water can pose a drowning risk.