This Fourth of July, families all across the nation are planning their celebrations. Whether you’re going to host a barbecue, enjoy a day at the beach, or take in some fireworks, keep these important tips in mind to ensure your Fourth of July is safe for your children.
Fireworks safety for children
According to Parenting, backyard sparklers are a leading cause of the fireworks-related burns and injuries suffered by 30 percent of children each year. It’s safest to attend a public, professional fireworks show. The Red Cross recommends keeping at least 500 feet back from the show. However, if you want to enjoy fireworks at home, FEMA offers these important safety rules to follow:
- Be sure fireworks are legal in your area before using or buying them.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities and never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- If you set off fireworks, keep a bucket of water handy in case of malfunction or fire.
- If fireworks malfunction, don’t relight them! Douse and soak them with water then throw them away.
- Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially one that is glass or metal.
If you are using backyard sparklers, limit their use to children older than 12. Have your child hold the sparkler at arm’s length, and don’t allow them to run or wave the sparkler around. Remember that a sparkler is still hot enough to burn when it is spent, so ensure that it goes directly into a bucket of water. Never leave children unattended with sparklers.
Beach safety for children
Spending your Fourth of July relaxing on the beach is fun for the entire family. First and foremost, ensure your child is safe in and around the water with our water safety tips for young children. The Red Cross recommends families only swim at beaches with lifeguards, and that all family members follow the lifeguard’s instructions. Swimming in a lake or ocean comes with its own risks, such as waves, strong currents, uneven ground, and aquatic life.
Barbecue safety for children
An afternoon spent grilling hot dogs and hamburgers with family and friends is a classic Fourth of July activity. To keep children safe, designate a “child-free zone” of three feet around the grill, and ensure that they are being supervised so they don’t accidentally run too close. Explain to your child that the grill is dangerous and can burn them, even after it’s been turned off. As always, never leave your barbecue unattended, and grill outdoors only.
No matter how your family celebrates Independence Day, always remember to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water. If you would like some other celebration ideas, read our blog post with seven fireworks-free Fourth of July ideas for children.