American Red Cross Offers 4th Of July Safety Tips

July 01, 2024

It will soon be time to celebrate Independence Day. What do your plans

include? Are you going to the local fireworks display? Maybe you’re looking forward to some fun in the water. The

American Red Cross wants you to enjoy a fun-packed, safe 4th of July and offers these tips you can follow during the upcoming holiday:

FIREWORKS SAFETY The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public firework show put on by professionals. Many states outlaw most fireworks, especially in dry climates prone to forest fires. Consider celebrating with glow sticks, noise makers or silly string instead. If you are setting fireworks off at home, follow these safety steps:

Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

Always follow the instructions on the packaging.

Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.

Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.

Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."

Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

WATER SAFETY Children and adults should learn to swim so they at least achieve the skills of water competency: be able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance and get out of the water safely. Whether swimming in a pool, at the beach or visiting a waterpark, always swim in an area where lifeguards are on duty.

Watch the weather and get out at the first sign of lightning or rumble of thunder. Stay indoors and away from water for 30 minutes after the last lightning flashes or thunder roars.

Provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising in or near water.

Fence pools and spas with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing.

Children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

BEACH SAFETY If you plan to swim in the ocean, a lake or river, be aware that swimming in these environments is different than swimming in a pool. Be sure you have the skills for these environments.

Make sure you swim sober and that you always swim with a buddy. Know your limitations and make sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore.

Protect your neck — don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters. Watch out for and avoid aquatic life.

If you are caught in a rip current, try not to panic. Signal to those on shore that you need assistance. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, swim toward shore. If you can't swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.

WATER PARK SAFETY Wear protective clothing, including a hat and some kind of cover-up for when you’ve had enough sun. Use sunscreen before leaving home and reapply during the day.

Parents — keep an eye on the kids. If they can’t swim or are less than four feet tall, have them wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.

Signal a lifeguard if you see someone is in trouble. Yell if you need to grab attention, but don’t go in after the person yourself.

Set up a meeting place in case someone gets separated from your group. Use the buddy system to make sure no child is alone.

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or follow us on social media.



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