We're super excited for Fourth of July here at Lauren's Hope! It's time for a day off (We're closed on the 4th, but we'll be back in the office on the 5th.) to celebrate America with family and friends. There's so much to look forward to, and as we make our holiday plans, we're making sure we remember one big rule: Safety First!
Safety 1st On July 4th!
It's easy to focus on making adorable cupcake flags (Click art for instructions!) and patriotic table decor for your BBQs and picnics (Lots of ideas on our USA Pinterest board!). But there's so much more to having a fun July 4th than how it all looks and tastes. Having a really fun Fourth means planning for a safe day for everyone. Here are a few tips for keeping safe this July 4th:
1. Allergies: Remember to ask your guests if they have any food allergies about which you should know. Take steps to prevent cross-contamination, and keep epinephrine auto-injectors in a cool, centrally located place. We recently posted a whole article on picnic safety with lots of great suggestions for keeping allergens in check.
If you have allergies, remember to wear your medical alert jewelry and bring any medications you might need. Let your host(ess) know where your medications are and what to do in case of an emergency.
2. Heat: Everyone reacts a little differently to the heat. Some people are much more tolerant of extended periods in direct sun than others. Remember to take breaks in the shade, reapply sunscreen regularly, and drink plenty of water. People tend to drink sugary and alcoholic beverages at BBQs, and perhaps more so on July 4th. It's a good rule of thumb to remember to drink one glass of water for every other glass of liquid you consume, especially alcohol or soft drinks, which can contribute to dehydration.
Additionally, heat is an issue for most medications. If you have people attending your Fourth of July BBQ who have Type 1 Diabetes or severe allergies, for example, have an ice-filled cooler in the shade where they can keep EpiPens, Glucagon pens, sensitive medications, and insulin pumps (if removed while swimming). This way the medications are handy, centrally located, and not in a cooler with any food or drinks.
3. Fireworks: We all know fireworks are dangerous, and there are very specific safety steps to take when handling them. However, what many people don't realize is that even the sparklers people tend to give kids are very dangerous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) notes that sparklers can heat up to over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hotter than a blow torch. Before giving one to a child, consider the danger, and ensure that your child knows how to handle the sparkler safely.
Here are some additional fireworks safety tips from the CPSC website:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Do you have any other July 4th safety tips? Share them in the comments below!
From all of us at Lauren's Hope, we wish you and yours a happy, safe, fun Fourth of July.