July 4th is around the corner and this year we are all eager for a fun, albeit socially distanced Independence Day celebration. With that said it is also a holiday that sends a lot of kids and grown-ups to the hospital. This is a year to take extra precautions as the last thing you want is to visit an emergency room during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many community fireworks events have been canceled which means many of us will be setting off fireworks in our neighborhoods by ourselves. Many will be first timers. Take precautions.
Here are some tips for a safe and fun July 4th:
- Always have an adult assigned to watch the kids in the pool/lake/ocean. (If ‘everyone’ is watching – no one is watching.) Many drownings occur with adults present.
- When boating, have children wear life preservers.
- Do not drink and drive. A boat, a car, a lawn mower. Do not drink and drive.
- Speak to the kids about fireworks safety. Let them know that they can cause injuries and create a fire and can be very loud when up close. Let them know where you want them to stand to stay out of the way.
- Don’t point sparklers or fireworks at yourself or others. Supervise teens.
- Do not light multiple fireworks at one time.
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
- Do not force children to hold fireworks. Besides the increased potential for injury, this adds a sense of fear to what should be a fun and celebratory experience.
- Light fireworks in a safe, open environment.
- Have a fire extinguisher, water hose and first aid kit nearby.
- Leave your pets at home in a safe and quiet spot. Pets are often petrified from loud noises. Consult with your vet if you are concerned for your pet.
- Keep children away from barbecue grills. Create a 3 foot perimeter around the grill.
- Never grill in an enclosed space.
- Keep alcohol out of the reach of children. Keep adult food and drinks in one location so children do not accidentally eat or drink something unsafe and this area can be supervised. Children can overdose on jello shots, alcoholic beverages, and other such holiday items.
- Remind children to come to you with any questions or concerns.
We are all under a lot of stress during these very strange times. The 4th of July has always been a holiday of family and community gatherings. This year children and teens more than ever need to feel a sense of security and safety while having fun. They will look to their grown-ups for ques as to how to have fun on this holiday while missing the usual traditions.
Wishing you all a safe and healthy Independence Day!