Summer Safety Series: Happy July 4th!

Kids splashing in the water, hotdogs sizzling on the grill, fireworks clapping loudly above, and crowds saying “oooh and aww” as they watch the display – all wonderful sounds of the Fourth of July.

In preparation for the holiday this week and continuing with the Summer Safety Series, Lifeguard Ambulance Service would like to provide some safety tips to remember during the Independence Day celebrations, many of which are applicable throughout the summer, too.

Grill and Food Tips:

  • Never leave a lit or hot grill unattended
  • Designate a “grill master” to assure children and pets stay away from the flames or hot grill
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Do not use a grill under porches/overhangs or too close to any structure
  • Cover food to protect it from insects outdoors
  • Cut up hotdogs, grapes, and other foods that may be choking hazards for children
  • Take steps to keep food at picnics and barbeques at proper temperatures to avoid foodborne bacteria (www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm109899.htm)
  • Keep cold foods cold AND hot foods hot

Outdoor Adventures:

  • Apply and reapply bug spray and sunscreen (with appropriate SPF)
  • Prepare for the weather and avoid being outdoors during high heat indexes or storms
  • Wear other protective apparel for the activity, such as bicycle helmets, hats, sunglasses, appropriate footwear, safety vests, life vests, etc.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated
  • Never leave children alone or unattended while near a pool or open body of water; always have a responsible and sober adult as the “designated, water watcher”
  • Always wear life vests when boating and jet skiing
  • Children and inexperienced swimmers should wear life vests while around pools, rivers, lakes, or other open bodies of water, too
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • If a child is missing near a pool or body of water, ALWAYS check the water first
  • Use caution around bonfires, fire pits, or sparklers
  • Check outdoor toys, seats, and equipment for snakes and other critters hiding in this heat
  • Test the temperature of playground equipment before children play
  • Check for bees and wasps (and nests) in playground equipment, especially if child has known allergy

Firework Fun:

  • First and foremost, OBEY all state and local laws/ordinances as it relates to approved fireworks
  • Read the safety and performance descriptions before igniting fireworks
  • Assign a responsible and sober adult to supervise all firework activities; do not give fireworks to children
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS and away from structures and vehicles
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby
  • Do NOT experiment with homemade fireworks
  • Pets and fireworks do NOT mix: - Do not bring pets to watch fireworks; they won’t enjoy it - If fireworks are used near your home, bring pets inside to a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sounds, which may scare them - Make sure your pets have an identification tag and collar in case they run off or get out during these events
  • Check out more safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety (www.fireworkssafety.org)

Travel Tips:

AAA estimates that “nearly 47 million Americans will set new Independence Day holiday travel record,” according to a press release posted on their website (www.newsroom.aaa.com) for the
2018 Fourth of July holidays. Share the roads safely!

  • Buckle up – the driver and all passengers should wear seatbelts, day and night, regardless of location in the vehicle; children should be properly secured in a car safety seat (www.healthychildren.org) - Many states have a “Click it or Ticket” law
  • Obey traffic laws and use extra caution on the road as there will be an excess of motorists and pedestrians
  • Give full attention to driving: do not drive while intoxicated, texting, posting to social media, taking pictures, or otherwise distracted
  • Pack a first aid and disaster kit in the car in the event of an emergency
  • Prep your home before you leave town: - Avoid posting on social media that you will not be home or where you will be traveling - Lock all doors and windows - Stop/hold all your mail, deliveries, and newspaper or request a neighbor/relative to pick it up - Make sure potential fire hazards are secured appropriately – grills, electronics, lamps, etc.

Have fun and be safe this Independence Day! If there is an emergency, call 9-1-1.

*Note - Lifeguard jointly released versions of this PSA with Houston County, Humphreys County, Lamar County, Panola County, and Santa Rosa County Emergency Management.