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Red Cross shares safety tips ahead of the Fourth of July weekend

As the Fourth of July draws nearer, the American Red Cross is urging people to take steps to...
As the Fourth of July draws nearer, the American Red Cross is urging people to take steps to have a safe and responsible holiday.
Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 12:08 PM CDT
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(KSLA) - As the Fourth of July draws nearer, the American Red Cross is urging people to take steps to have a safe and responsible holiday.

To do so, the organization shared these tips:

Water Safety

Before entering a pool or other body of water, groups are encouraged to designate a water watcher to keep an eye on children and weaker swimmers.

  • Always swim with a buddy in a lifeguarded area and follow the rules of the facility.
  • Provide close and constant attention to those you are supervising in the water.
  • Stay within arm’s reach of young children and new swimmers.
  • Check the water depth and don’t swim or play beyond your swimming abilities.
  • Children, weak or non-swimmers, and all boaters should wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Watch the weather and get out of the water at the first sign of lightning or rumble of thunder. Stay indoors and away from the water for 30 minutes after the last lightning flashes or thunder roars.

Fireworks Safety

The bottom line according to the American Red Cross is to let professionals handle fireworks. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public show put on by professionals. Attendees should stay 500 feet from the show. Leave any area as soon as possible if untrained amateurs are using fireworks. Below are safety tips to those planning on setting fireworks off at home:

  • 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.

Picnic Safety

  • Don’t leave food out in the hot sun. Keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs.
  • Wash your hands before preparing the food.
  • If you are going to grill, always supervise when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
  • Never grill indoors. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
  • Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.

Heat Safety

  • Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water and shade.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat. If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like schools, libraries, theaters, malls, etc.

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