safe-fourth-of-july-funFourth of July picnics and fireworks shows are an American tradition, one enjoyed by families all across the country. Here are tips to having safe Fourth of July fun with your family in 2016 and beyond.

Fireworks Safety

According to the US Fireworks Information Center, an average of 230 people per day end up in the emergency room in the month surrounding the Fourth of July holiday. That equals nearly 7,000 people each year, and includes visits for serious skin burns and eye damage. Here are some safety tips they offer; you can find more in the article.

  •  Never permit young children to ignite or play with fireworks. Even sparklers can burn at temperatures of 2,000 degrees, “hot enough to melt some metals.”
  •  Have an adult supervise all fireworks activities.
  •  If you will be lighting fireworks, be sure to keep a bucket of water nearby or light them near a working garden hose.
  •  Once a firework is used up, douse it completely with water to make sure the flame is entirely out.
  •  After lighting a firework, make sure everyone – including you – is a safe distance back.
  •  Never point or throw a firework in the direction of another person.

Fourth of July Picnic Tips

If your family enjoys a picnic on the holiday, you may be faced with the dual challenge of making food that is safe to eat in the heat and that will be eaten by your children. Addressing safety first, the FDA provides detailed tips on safe picnic food preparation, including:

  •  Cold food needs kept cold, via ice or frozen gel products, kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below to protect against bacterial growth. Consider packing meat, poultry and seafood while still frozen. Pack perishable foods in a separate cooler from drinks. Otherwise, every time someone opens the cooler for a drink, the perishable foods are exposed to outdoor temperatures.
  •  Don't cross-contaminate. Keep meats, poultry and seafood separate from other foods and wash your hands well before and after handling them.

If you’re planning a picnic, we encourage you to read the entire article. And, find fun foods for your kids to enjoy on the Fourth of July!

Water Safety

Living in Northeast Ohio means living near Lake Erie – and many Fourth of July celebrations take place on beaches and other waterfronts, or at places with swimming pools. And, although swimming and other water play is refreshing and fun, it is possible to drown in only a few inches of water, so there are procedures that are crucial to follow when children are around bodies of water, even very small ones. offers multiple tips; here are some – and, again, we recommend reading the entire article:

  •  Be aware of all potential water risks, which could include something as small as a bucket of water being used to fill up water balloons.
  •  Always have an adult within arm’s reach of children who are swimming or playing in water, even in a shallow toddler’s pool. Ideally, that adult knows CPR and should definitely not become distracted by checking his or her phone or from in-depth conversations.
  •  Do not permit running by water or pushing others beneath the water’s surface.
  •  Use life jackets whenever appropriate, which includes swimming and boat riding, among other activities – remembering that floatable devices are not adequate substitutes.

The goal is to have a fun, safe Fourth of July holiday that will provide lasting happy memories! Enjoy.

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