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Fourth of July Safety Tips

Jul 3, 2008
Fourth of July is upon us this week!

Just about all of us grow up watching the fireworks and parades after a day of family bar-b-ques, swimming and picnics. Here are a few safety reminders for you, your family and your children for a safe and happy holiday.

At the pool or lake, even for parade viewing, makes sure you have plenty of sunscreen. Oh, and use it, too. A good 30 SPF will do and if you can make it waterproof for your kids, all the better. Reapply it often throughout the day. In addition, make sure everyone has plenty of water to drink. Yes, all the sodas and sugary specials make the day fun but a hot summer day outside requires 8-10 full glasses for everyone, including the active kids.

If you are boating at the lake, follow all safety regulations and make sure there are life preservers for everyone on board. Keep the boat capacity to the number of people allowed and save the alcohol for afterwards.

If you're heading out for a family bike ride make sure everyone, including the tike in the back, has a helmet on. "If it has wheels under it, put a helmet on it," we say. Make sure the helmet is on properly. This means the helmet sits square on the top of the head, protecting the entire crown and back instead of sitting like a cap on the back. Make sure the chin strap is tight to the chin but not choking or uncomfortable.

If you are heading out driving do a final check that your car is in top operating condition. Carry extra supplies such as water and a good emergency kit. If you have to stop on the highway for an emergency, make sure you pull well off the road surface. Anyone who exits the car should do so on the passenger side of the vehicle.

For the evening fireworks, head to a professionally run display. Fireworks, even sparklers, are not for any child to hold, including teens. It goes beyond holding and lighting them. Firecrackers can be unpredictable. There are incidents where they have even exploded inside of children's pockets when temperatures are high. Sometimes they gone off just from friction against the clothing.

There are almost 10,000 injuries in the United States from fireworks, and at least 1,000 lead to permanent damage. Sparklers can reach temperatures of 1800 degrees, hot enough to melt gold. They can cause third degree burns in less than a second. Again, we recommend heading out to the professional displays.

Most Fourth of July holiday safety is just common sense. A little thought in front of the activity will be preventative and keep it a safe and happy holiday for your entire family.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson is a child safety expert #1 International bestselling author, consultant, pseaker and trainer. For her extensive website and information see Keeping Kids Safe and Podcasts at The Belly Brain Podcasts.
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