The 4th of July is right around the corner. Here in the States, Independence Day is a time for outdoor summer fun, family, barbecues, and fireworks. It’s a celebration of the country’s independence, and a celebration of summer. The kids are out of school for summer break, the weather is warm around the continental United States, and people are out enjoying it. With this in mind, you want to keep your family safe during these joyous celebrations. Here are some 4th of July safety tips to help you do just that!
Stay Cool and Hydrated
Through much of the United States, temperatures tend to soar during this part of the summer. Here in Michigan, we’re forecasted to have temperatures ranging from the high 80’s and into the 90’s. This weather is nice for outdoor activities, as long as you are careful.
It’s important went temperatures soar to make sure you and your children are staying properly hydrated. Those little bodies can lose water fast, especially when the weather is so warm. Make sure to provide plenty of things to drink during outings. I also always offer popsicles and watery fruits, like watermelon, to keep my little guy hydrated.
It is also important to try and stay cool. Dress appropriately for the warm temperatures. Make sure there is plenty of shade when spending time outdoors. Beach umbrellas or pop-up canopies can be very useful on hot days. If you or your family start to become overheated, take breaks in air conditioning whenever possible.
High temperatures can be especially dangerous for small children and the elderly. Make sure to keep an eye on your children and even your older relatives at gatherings. Seek medical attention if anyone begins to exhibit symptoms of heat stroke.
Use Plenty of Sunscreen
Many moms can become almost obsessive about lathering their children in sunscreen. However, parents often forget to also protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays. Make sure to keep plenty of sunscreen for both children and adults, and reapply often.
Sunscreen isn’t just meant to protect against sunburns. Many believe that once they have a tan, they no longer need to protect their skin. This is not true. Even if you aren’t being physically burned, your skin is still being exposed to harmful rays and it can result in devastating damage, and even skin cancer. Take an extra moment and lather up.
Also, speak to your doctor before using sunscreen on children. Currently, it is not recommended to use any type of sunscreen before the age of 6 months. Your pediatrician should be able to advise you on the current recommendations regarding age, usage, and SPF.
Always practice safety when around any type of water. Here in Michigan, we are not only surrounded by the Great Lakes, but our state is also speckled with tons of tiny inland lakes as well. Many people also visit public swimming pools, or even have pools in their backyards.
Last year, the Detroit Free Press reported that there have been over 600 drownings since 2010 in the Great Lakes. (See the article HERE).
Always take care when swimming in lakes, ponds, or even pools. Make sure children are always supervised near bodies of water or swimming pools. Even the best swimmers can accidentally drown in a tragic accident. Also, make sure to have and wear proper life vests anytime you are out on boats or other water crafts.
If you have a pool at your home, take every precaution you can find to protect the safety of your family. I can NOT stress this enough. Several years ago, a family in my parent’s neighborhood lost a 2-year-old to drowning in the family pool. There were multiple children at the home, and the older kids were going in and out of the house. At some point, the toddler got out of the house, and ended up in the pool. Nobody realized he was missing. The parents thought the child was inside with the other kids.
I was nearby and witnessed first responders arriving at the house, and trying to rescue the small child. Their efforts were in vain. Those images haunt me, even all these years later. We now live in a home with a pool in the yard, and I am obsessive about making sure there is no way this kind of tragedy could happen to us.
I have extra lock on exterior doors that my toddler can’t reach. He is never allowed outside unsupervised, not even for a second. I have a security gate with a lock around my patio, separating that area from the rest of the yard and the pool. Even the outer gate to my yard has a high latch to prevent either my child, or neighborhood children from entering the yard without an adult. You can never be too careful when it comes to your family.
Fireworks are a tradition when it comes to the 4th of July. It seems every town has their own large displays throughout the summer, especially near this holiday. Fireworks are also sold legally here now, as of a few years ago.
While fireworks can be a great way to celebrate this holiday, they can also be extremely dangerous. Never let small children near fireworks. I am personally not even a fan of sparklers. The burn risk is just too high.
Also, if you want to see fireworks that leave the ground and shoot into the sky, make sure to research the proper ways to use them, make sure you have plenty of space, and take extra care when lighting them off. Honestly, if you don’t know how to safely launch your own fireworks, you’re better off just going to one of the local displays. I have witnessed accidents when inexperienced people have tried to launch large mortars and it has gone horribly wrong. Trust me, nobody wants to spend their holiday in the emergency room. Leave it to the professionals.
Have Fun and Be Safe!
I really hope you all enjoy this fun summertime holiday with your families. It can be a great time to make memories, barbecue, swim, and enjoy nature. Just make sure you take precautions to ensure you and your family stay safe in the process.
How are you planning to spend the 4th of July holiday? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
For more summer fun ideas, check out the Ultimate Summer Bucket List for Famililes!