Celebrate America's birthday with these important safety tips.
Cookouts, swimming, and fireworks are essential to any Fourth of July celebration. But all of these activities can land you in the emergency room if the proper safety precautions aren’t taken.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 10,000 people were injured by fireworks in 2019, with 73 percent of those injuries occurring around the Fourth of July. Backyard grills and swimming pools are also responsible for injuries and deaths around the holiday. Keep the party safe and sound with these easy tips.
Use Caution with Fireworks
The No. 1 cause of firework injuries in 2019 was firecrackers. Even legal fireworks come with risks, and the CPSC wants to make sure you don’t end up in the emergency room. Here is a list of safety guidelines to follow when using fireworks:
- Don’t let young children play with or light fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to melt metal and cause major burns.
- Light fireworks one at a time and never put any part of your body over the firework when lighting the fuse.
- Put all used or malfunctioning fireworks in a bucket of water and keep a hose nearby for emergencies.
- Never use professional-grade fireworks at home. You can find a list of the fireworks that are legal in your state here.
Practice Water Safety
According to the USA Swimming Foundation, an average of 17 children drown every year around the Fourth of July holiday. The CPSC urges families to visit poolsafely.gov and take this pledge to avoid drowning accidents:
- Assign an adult watcher to keep track of kids while they’re in the pool.
- Teach children how to swim.
- Learn CPR.
- Make sure pools have a permanent self-closing barrier and all drains are VGB compliant.
- Remove pool ladders when above ground pools are not in use.
Outdoor grills send 19,000 people to the hospital each year, with incidents peaking in the month of July. You can stay safe grilling those burgers and dogs with these tips:
- Only use charcoal and gas grills outside.
- Keep grills away from any structures and keep children and pets at least three feet away at all times.
- Clean grease and fat buildup from grills before using them.
- Check for leaks or holes in propane tank hoses at the start of the season by applying a soap and water solution to the hose. If you see any bubbles, replace the hose before using the grill.
Just follow these simple rules and you and yours can have a fun and safe holiday!