Independence Day 2012: Tips for a Safe Fourth of July
How to have a fun and safe July 4th party.
In the past 35 years, fireworks sales have increased by 700%, but amazingly, injuries sustained due to fireworks have decreased by 90%. To insure safety this 4th of July, follow these tips.
- If fireworks are legal in your community and are a part of your celebration, be sure to store and use them safely, following the instructions. 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.
- 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!).
- Cover food and beverages outdoors to discourage bees and wasps from attending your party. If someone is allergic to bee stings you should have an emergency anaphylaxis kit on hand. Wearing shoes, long sleeves, and long pants outdoors and avoiding fragranced body products, bright colors, and sugary drinks can also help prevent bee stings.
- 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.
- Alcohol is a favorite of many for the holiday celebrations. However, it is important to keep alcohol away from children and animals. There is a potential risk of alcohol poisoning if consumed by a child or animal.
- When you are disposing of 4th of July decorations and fireworks, make sure that they are completely free of heat and fire. This way there will not be a smoldering fire happening after the party is over.
- Stay away from illegal fireworks. They are illegal due to the increased danger involved with certain types of fireworks. Here is a list of the fireworks to avoid.
Large re-loadable mortar shells
If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. Also, don't flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention — your child's eyesight may depend on it. If it's a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn (do not use ice). Call your doctor immediately.