Red Cross Issues Safety Tips For 4th of July Holiday

Safely enjoy the beach, the fireworks and the backyard barbecue!

It’s time for Fourth of July celebrations – fireworks, a backyard barbecue, maybe a trip to the beach. Whatever people have planned, the American Red Cross wants them to enjoy their holiday and has steps they can follow to be safe with a few safety tips for everyone.

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FIREWORKS SAFETY
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Many states outlaw most fireworks. If someone is setting fireworks off at home, they should follow these safety steps:

  • Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.

GRILLING SAFETY Every year people in this country are injured while using backyard charcoal or gas grills. Follow these steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:

  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.

BEACH SAFETY If time in, on or around water is in your future, a few safety tips include:

  • Swim at a lifeguarded beach, within the designated swimming area.
  • Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards.
  • Keep alert for local weather conditions. Check to see if any warning signs or flags are posted.
  • Swim sober and always swim with a buddy.
  • Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Protect the neck – don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters.
  • Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults while at the beach. Wave action can cause someone to lose their footing, even in shallow water.
  • Watch out for aquatic life. Water plants and animals may be dangerous. Avoid patches of plants and leave animals alone.
  • Additional water safety tips are available at redcross.org/watersafetytips

SUN PROTECTION Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply sunscreen often. Remember to drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. Protect the eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent of UV sunlight. Protect the feet – the sand can burn them and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.

During hot weather, watch for signs of heat stroke—hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. If it’s suspected someone is suffering from heat stroke:

  • Call 9-1-1 and move the person to a cooler place.
  • Quickly cool the body by applying cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin (or misting it with water) and fanning the person.
  • Watch for signs of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the person lying down.

DOWNLOAD FIRST AID APP Another thing people can do is download the free Red Cross first aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergencies at someone’s fingertips. The app is available for direct download from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Red Cross Offers Tips for a Safe 4th of July

Whether at the beach or in one’s backyard, follow these steps to enjoy the holiday.

The Independence Day Holiday is just around the corner and many people will visit the beach, enjoy fireworks, or fire up the grill for a backyard barbecue.

“The American Red Cross wants everyone to have a happy — and safe — Fourth of July holiday, and taking a few simple steps to stay safe can help ensure that this will be an enjoyable holiday for all,” said Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive

WATER SAFETY If swimming is part of someone’s holiday plans, they should check the weather and swim only at a lifeguard-protected pool or beach within the designated swimming area and obey all safety rules. Avoid alcohol before and during any water activities and make sure to never swim alone.

Other tips to keep in mind:

  • Actively supervise children at all times – even if a lifeguard is present. Stay within arm’s reach of young children when they are in the water.
  • Have weak swimmers wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Don’t rely on water wings or inflatable toys.
  • Always enter shallow water feet first. Dive only in areas marked safe for diving. 

Additional water safety tips are located at redcross.org/watersafetytips.

WATCH THE SUN Everyone should limit the amount of direct sunlight they receive between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15 throughout the day. Wear sunglasses that will absorb UV sunlight to protect one’s eyes. And remember to protect one’s feet by wearing some kind of beach shoes.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. Wear loose-fitting clothing, lightweight and light colored. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. Take frequent work if you must work outdoors. Do no leave any people or pets in vehicles.

Be a great neighbor by checking on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat, especially the elderly.

FIREWORKS SAFETY Nothing says “Fourth of July” like fireworks. To help stay safe while enjoying them, follow these safety steps:

  • Never give fireworks to small children and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Never throw or point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks. 

GRILLING SAFETY If a picnic and grilled goodies are part of someone’s holiday plans, they should follow these steps:

  • Always watch the barbecue grill when in use.
  • Never grill indoors – not in a house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure children and pets stay away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire. 
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills. 

In addition to these tips, all iPhone and Android smart phone owners should download the new, free American Red Cross First Aid app now so they will have information on how to treat everyday emergencies right in their hands. You can find the app in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

Fourth of July Safe Tips from the Red Cross

This Fourth of July, friends and loved ones all across the country will gather to celebrate our nation’s independence and what is for many, the unofficial start of summer. If your traditions include fireworks, barbecues, or relaxing days at the pool or beach, the American Red Cross can help you prevent emergencies and enjoy a safer holiday by offering the following tips:

Water safety at the pool and beach:
The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. The Red Cross has swimming courses for people of any age and swimming ability. To find out where lessons are offered or to enroll in a CPR/AED or first aid course, contact your local Red Cross chapter.

  • Swim in a supervised, marked area with a lifeguard present, and swim with others. Never swim alone.
  • Enter the water feet first. Enter the water headfirst only when the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions.
  • Adults should never leave a child unobserved around water. Practice “reach supervision” by staying within an arm’s length of young children and weak swimmers while they are in and around the pool, lake or ocean.
  • Take frequent breaks (about once an hour) where everyone gets out of the water, drinks water, reapplies sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and rests.
  • If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. If you can’t swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
  • Watch out for the “dangerous too’s” ‚“ too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.
  • Post CPR instructions and directions to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number in the pool area.
  • Keep toys away from the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children into the pool.
  • If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom, and surface, as well as the surrounding pool area.

Firework safety:
There are nearly 9,000 emergency room-treated injuries associated with fireworks a year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission. You can enjoy these Fourth of July staples safely by doing the following:

  • Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close-by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.

How to prevent this from happening!

Safe Grilling:
Nothing says summer quite like the smell of barbecue. Make sure safety is a key ingredient in your Fourth of July by reading the following tips for safer grilling:

  • Use gas and charcoal barbecue grills outside only.
  • Position grills far from siding, deck railings, overhanging branches and house eaves.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.
  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.

For more safety tips or to register for a water safety, first aid or CPR/AED course, visitwww.redcross.org. The American Red Cross wishes everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog athttp://blog.redcross.org.