As you celebrate our nation’s independence today, make sure that you’re doing so safely. With that in mind, AMR Mississippi has provided the following tips to help you have a safe and happy 4th of July.
“Fourth of July brings a lot of fun and enjoyment, from outdoor grilling and water activities to fireworks displays and celebratory parades.” said Steve Peacock, operations manager at AMR Central Mississippi. “No matter your family’s plans, it is essential to make sure everyone stays safe during this year’s festivities.”
Many municipalities and counties have ordinances prohibiting or limiting personal use of fireworks. AMR says it is vital to comply with local statutes on individual or family fireworks usage.
For those who take the risk of personal use of fireworks, AMR advises:
- Follow all instructions on the packaging.
- Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby as a precaution.
- Wear eye protection.
- Never use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Ignite only one firework device at a time and never attempt to relight duds.
- Do not aim, throw or point fireworks at people, animals, vehicles, or structures.
- Never give children fireworks.
- Make sure to store perishable foods at the proper temperature until you are ready to begin cooking.
- If using a cooler, make sure you pack plenty of ice or freezer packs.
- Never leave a barbecue unattended while lit.
- Select a location away from children, pets or flammable objects.
- Keep the grill clean by removing excess grease and residue.
- Keep a fire extinguisher close by.
- Use long-handled tongs and spatulas with heat-resistant handles.
- Exposure to excessive heat can quickly lead to dehydration. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and avoid beverages with caffeine, sugar, or alcohol.
- During the hottest hours of the day, stay indoors. If your home is not air-conditioned, look for nearby cooling shelters or spend the day in a cool public space like a library, community center or local shopping mall.
- Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing and don a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Apply sunscreen to exposed skin and be sure to reapply it every two hours.
- Try to limit physical activities to the coolest parts of the day, like morning and evening hours.
- Be to take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
- Do not leave children, elderly persons, or pets in cars. In under three minutes, the interior temperature of your vehicle can soar from 78 to 100 degrees, putting children, the elderly and pets in danger of hyperthermia or heat stroke. If you see a child, an older adult or an animal left in a hot car, call 911 immediately.
- Never swim alone.
- Only use approved flotation devices; do not rely on toys or inner tubes.
- Don’t take chances by overestimating your swimming skills.
- Swim only in designated swimming areas.
- Watch small children near water.
- Never dive into rivers or lakes; each year nearly 3,000 people are paralyzed after diving into shallow water or hitting an unseen underwater obstruction.
AMR is committed to the health and wellbeing of the communities it serves. Our caregivers promote safety and preparedness to save lives and prevent injury and disability.
For more holiday safety tips, visit RedCross.org.