4th of July Safety
Maybe we just really love this holiday because it shares the number 4 with us, but 4-Safety is excited to help you have a safe and happy 4th of July with your family this year!
Remembering to keep some basic safety tips in mind can really go a long way as you keep your family busy with activities and celebrations from morning to night. Practice your sun smarts by following the “Slip! Slop! Slap! And Wrap” rule from the American Cancer Society: slip on a shirt or other cover-up, slop on the sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap some sunglasses around your face. By doing this, you can help avoid a painful sunburn! Seeking out the shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and staying hydrated can also help prevent heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
If you’re going to be by the water, remember to never leave a child unattended, whether it’s a wading pool or the beach. Having your child within arm’s reach of you at all times while in the water is one of the safest ways to prevent accidental drowning. If you’re boating, make sure everyone wears a life jacket at all times.
Before firing up the grill for any cookouts, make sure your grill has been properly cleaned and is in good working order, especially for gas grills. Make sure your grill is outside in an open area, and make the three-foot area around the grill a kids-free zone to avoid injury. Depending on the food you’re grilling, make sure any meat is cooked to its proper temperature, and remember to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!
When heading out to parades and other public events, make sure you’re street smart. For pedestrians, this includes using sidewalks and crosswalks, and staying in designated areas for parade spectators. For drivers, this includes giving yourself enough time to get to your destination, and making sure you aren't distracted while driving!
As day turns into night, everyone begins looking forward to the fireworks shows! Using fireworks on your own carries a significant risk for injury or even death, and now several groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Fire Protection Association, recommend leaving fireworks to the professionals. This way, everyone can enjoy the show without worrying about getting hurt.
Finally, as you head home from the cookouts and fireworks displays, have a plan for getting home safely. Be aware that drunk driving is a major problem on the 4th, so be sure to designate a driver, watch out for other drivers, and consider staying close to home that day.
Follow these tips and the others found on this page, and you’ll be keeping your family safe from sun up to sun down on the 4th!
Did You Know?
- The 4th of July is the 3rd biggest holiday for pediatric injuries in the United States. (Source: AAP)
- For all Americans, July 4th is considered the “most dangerous holiday of the year” (Source: National Safety Council)
- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has also ranked the 4th as the most dangerous day of the year for drivers (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
- 40% of fireworks injuries happen to children under the age of 15 (source: National Fire Protection Association)
- Half of all fatal crashes on the 4th involve drunk drivers (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
- July is the peak month of the year for grilling-related fires (Source: National Fire Protection Association)
4th of July Safety Videos
A family injured in a fireworks incident describes their experience and injuries.
A family loses a child as a result of fireworks.
Watch this cartoon about the dangers of fireworks.
The United States Food and Drug Administration offers the ABCs of Sun Protection.
Sing along to this pool safety song.
The NFPA offers grilling safety tips.
Get summer safe food handling tips from the USDA.
Avoid drunk driving on the fourth.
The AAA offers pedestrian safety tips.