10 Safety Tips for this Independence Day

My memories of Independence Day celebrations are filled with cookouts, visits from friends and family members, and staying up late to watch the fireworks displays.  My siblings and I would spend most of the day chasing each other around in the backyard and then join with our neighbors in the front yard to share in a cookout.  It was always an exciting time.

Now with my own children in tow, the celebrations and fireworks take on a slightly different kind of excitement: keeping my children safe throughout the crowded parade routes, cookouts, and firework spectaculars.

I have compiled several tips to help our family and yours to remain safe while participating in the festivities:

  1. Before going outside apply sunscreen and insect repellant. While outside drink plenty of water and watch for signs of overheating such as dizziness, muscle cramps, and nausea.  At the onset of these signs, move indoors and drink cool water slowly. If signs do not improve seek medical help immediately (texasprepares.org).
  2. When grilling, set up a safety zone around the grill by putting up a child safety gate or another barrier. Have an adult remain close to the grill as long as the grill is warm.
  3. Remember food safety when cooking as well. Perishable foods should be disposed of after being outside for more than two hours.  Consider serving cold foods in bowls surrounded by ice to keep them cool.  Make sure food is cooked to the proper temperature before serving.
  4. If swimming, the American Red Cross reminds families to provide constant supervision. They recommend always swimming in a supervised area.  If you are at a private residence, designate a water watcher to supervise those in the water.  If a child does not know how to swim well, he should remain in a coastguard approved flotation device while around or in the water.
  5. If going to a crowded location, consider wearing matching shirts or hats that can easily be identified if you get separated. When you first arrive at your location, make sure you all agree on a meeting place in case you get separated.  Practice contact information or attach a tag with contact information to young children.
  6. When attending parades, be mindful of children especially if those on the floats are throwing candy. Make sure children stay back from moving vehicles.
  7. If doing your own fireworks, be sure you have a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency. After lighting fireworks, soak debris in water before placing them in a bag.  Used fireworks can reignite given the right conditions.
  8. It is recommended that children under the age of five not use sparklers because sparklers can reach temperatures above 1000° F. For older children, consider turning a cup upside down and poking a hole in the bottom of the cup.  Then, push the sparkler through the cup so that the child’s hand is shielded from the sparks while she holds onto the base of the sparkler.
  9. Consider giving children sunglasses to use during bright displays to protect their eyes. Since loud noises can cause hearing loss, consider putting ear muffs on the ears of young children to protect from the loud sounds.
  10. It is recommended that pet owners keep pets secured indoors during fireworks displays. Scared pets are more likely to run away or get injured.

Create fond memories this year as you celebrate our freedom!  Happy Independence Day from your Stepping Stone School Family!

Sources:

http://texasprepares.org/English/information-ex-heat.shtml

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety/swim-safety

http://texasfireworkssafety.com/

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Age Groups:

Infant
Kindergarten
Preschool
School-Age

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