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Make the holiday shine with these Fourth of July safety tips

Make the holiday shine with these Fourth of July safety tips

Looking forward to celebrating Independence Day? We are, too! These safety tips can help make sure you enjoy your Fourth of July celebration injury-free.

While the holiday offers us a time to ring in summer with some patriotic fun, it also offers many safety hazards. Consider that fireworks alone cause thousands of injuries every July 4th, leading to many emergency room visits.

We aren’t telling you not to have fun—just do it safely! Take a few precautions and follow some basic safety guidelines outlined by the LCMC Health team below.

All the sparkle—and all the safety

Fireworks injuries are a major Fourth of July safety hazard. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 10,000 people were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fireworks injuries in 2022 alone. More than 70% of those injuries occurred in the weeks leading up to and immediately after Independence Day.

Your best bet to enjoy fireworks safely is to let the professionals do it! Watch fireworks displays put on by local cities and organizations, such as Go 4th on the River. When you attend a public fireworks show, you can enjoy all the sparkles without the hazards.

If you decide to use fireworks at home, practice these fireworks safety tips:

  • Keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Never allow children to play with or light any fireworks, including sparklers.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, keeping distance between where you’re lighting fireworks and where the rest are kept. Also, never try to relight fireworks that do not ignite.
  • Don’t use fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

While sparklers may seem safe for kids, they are not: Sparklers burn at a temperature hot enough to melt some metals. Keep your kids a safe distance away and give them fun toys such as glow sticks instead.

Celebrate the holiday with a splash

Planning to spend the Fourth of July out at the pool or lake? Use water safety basics to keep your family safe:

  • Make sure there is adult supervision at all times when kids are near water.
  • Stay within arms’ length of any children in the water, with your undistracted eyes on them at all times.
  • Have children and inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets or floatation devices.
  • Use the buddy system when swimming.
  • Don’t swim or boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you have a pool at your house, be sure that the pool is properly contained within a fence. This should include four-sided fencing with a secure latch that’s inaccessible to kids.

Hot dogs, apple pie … and food safety

Did you know that food poisoning is more common during the summer? That’s because prepared foods and warm days aren’t a good combination. If you’re planning for a backyard barbecue or a picnic, be sure you’re practicing food safety to keep the celebration from taking a turn for the worse:

  • Wash your hands before preparing or eating food.
  • Keep cold food cold by storing it with ice or frozen gel packs.
  • Maintain the temperature in your coolers by keeping them closed except when necessary.
  • Be sure to cook food thoroughly, using a meat thermometer to verify that meat has been prepared to a safe internal temperature.
  • When food is hot and ready, eat it, then store it away in a cooler or the refrigerator.
  • If food is left out for longer than two hours, toss it.

These guidelines for holiday eating wrap up our Fourth of July safety tips. They aren’t so hard, right? By following a few safety basics, you can enjoy all the holiday has to offer—with sparkles and hot dogs galore!

If you take all the best precautions and still experience an emergency, we’re here to help! Find 24/7 emergency care services near you.