It’s that time of year again, grilles are prepped with new propane tanks, stores sell out of charcoal, ice, and cook out food, people clean there pools and set up various firework viewing plans. Every Independence Day seems remarkably similar to the last in style, yet each new year brings countless new memories spent with family and loved ones. This year the Red Cross advizes communities on how to keep those memories positive and avoid potential disasters by spreading safety tips for all of peoples favorite 4th of July activities.
For those who wish to celebrate their independence at the beach:
1.If someone plans to swim in the ocean, they should always check weather conditions before going in the water.
2.Swim only at a lifeguard protected beach, within the designated swimming area and listen to all lifeguard instructions.
3.Always swim with a buddy and always swim sober.
4.Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
5.Everyone should enter the water feet first if they can’t see the bottom or don’t know how deep the water is.
6.Be aware of the danger of rip currents. If caught in one, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. When free, turn and swim toward shore. If unable to swim to the shore, call out for help, float or tread water until free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
7.Limit the amount of direct sunlight received between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply often.
8.Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
9.Protect the eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent of UV sunlight.
10.Wear beach shoes. The sand is hot and can burn someone’s feet and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.
To the celebrators who prefer to spend their time poolside:
1.Learn to swim and only swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
2.Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
3.Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
4.Provide close and constant attention to children and inexperienced swimmers you are supervising in or near the water. Avoid distractions while supervising.
5.Limit the amount of direct sunlight received between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply often.
6.Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.
7.For a backyard pool, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
8.Secure the backyard pool with appropriate barriers including four-sided fencing.
9.Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
10.Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water. If a child is missing, check the water first.
For those who are traveling to their favorite Independence Day destinations:
HIGHWAY SAFETY Millions of people will be on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. The Red Cross offers these five things everyone should do to stay safe while traveling:
1.Buckle seat belts, observe speed limits.
2.Do not drink and drive.
3.Pay full attention to the road – don’t use a cell phone to call or text.
4.Use caution in work zones.
5.Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.
FIREWORKS SAFETY The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting fireworks off at home:
1.Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
2.Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
3.Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
4.Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
5.Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
GRILLING SAFETY Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:
1.Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
2.Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
3.Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
4.Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
5.Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
Aside from these tips, the Red Cross also now has several apps for all occasions, visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps for more information.
Have a blast this Independence Day, and stay safe!
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