Official Blog of the Southern Missouri Region of the American Red Cross serving 40 counties with offices in Cape Girardeau, Joplin, Lebanon, Nevada, Springfield, and West Plains.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Fourth of July Safety Tips
Happy 4th of July! The American Red Cross hopes everyone has a fun and safe holiday, and would like to suggest these preventive measures be taken to ensure the safety of friends and families:
• Follow firework safety procedures. If handling fireworks, always wear eye protection and never have any part of your body over the firework. Never throw or point fireworks at other people. In order to avoid hurting or burning yourself, do not carry fireworks in your pocket. Make sure to have water nearby in case a fire or an accident occurs. Light fireworks in a safe area, such as a driveway or other paved surface. Keep fireworks at least 25 feet away from grassy and vegetated areas. Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trashcan. Lastly, lighting fireworks inside a structure or home should be avoided at all costs due to the possibility of injuries and indoor fires.
• Outfit everyone with the proper gear. It has been found that 75% of all firework-related eye injuries affect boys between the ages of 13-15. Therefore, protect your eyes during the use of fireworks or while surrounded by those using them. Consider attending professional firework shows in order to ensure safety, but avoid being in close proximity when lighting fireworks and wear earplugs if one has sensitive ears. If spending time outside, remember to pack water-proof sunscreen and plenty of water in order to avoid burning and dehydration.
• Always keep basic lifesaving equipment by the pool and know how to use it. A first-aid kit, cordless phone, phone list with emergency contact information, a reaching pole and a ring buoy with a nylon line attached are recommended. First-aid kits should contain plastic face shields for CPR, which can help prevent disease transmission. During an emergency a First-aid Kit can be used in order to care for the emergency until professional help arrives.
• Learn to swim. Stay safe in and around the water by learning to swim. No one, including adults, should ever swim alone. Adults should practice “reach supervision,” which means to be within arm’s length of a child in case an emergency occurs.
• Respect the weather. Even though you may be eager to spend the holiday outdoors, please remember to pay attention to your local weather channel. Be aware of the weather conditions and temperatures in order to avoid serious problems such as thunderstorms and heat-related illness.
• Get trained in CPR and First Aid. While the above tips can help prevent emergencies, it is important to know what to do if a situation arises. And all caregivers, including grandparents, older siblings and babysitters should have these lifesaving skills.