The 4th of July isn’t just another day in our nation. It’s the quintessence of summertime fun and a day in which family and friends nationwide come together to celebrate the official birth of our country. People partake in delicious food and fun outdoor games, indulge in the warm weather, and end the day with a dazzling display of fireworks and patriotic music.
While Independence Day is certainly a fun day, it’s always smart to follow safety precautions throughout the day. We’ve compiled a list of 7 helpful safety tips to ensure that your July 4th this year is fun, memorable, and safe. Read them below!
Be Safe In the Water – It’s always fun to go for a swim or partake in water sports during the 4th, but you need to make sure to be safe when doing so! Studies have shown that water sports are linked to numerous deaths and injuries each year. Never swim alone, and ensure that all children in the water are supervised at all times. Don’t assume that others are watching the kids. Assign a designated chaperone for water play to be safe.
Protect Your Skin – If you happen to be one of the countless people celebrating Independence Day outside, remember to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Wear plenty of sunscreen at all times when you’re outside, even if it happens to be cloudy, and reapply the sunscreen every few hours. If you do happen to get sunburned, apply some aloe vera to the burn for temporary relief.
Cook Up a Safe Meal – Are you planning on grilling for your friends and family on the 4th? Cook up your tasty hot dogs and hamburgers away from tree branches, siding, and foot traffic. As tempting as it might be in the hot summer weather, avoid grilling inside a garage or tent as it could start a fire. Always keep a fire extinguisher close by in case a fire does break out!
Drink Responsibly – Alcohol and July 4th activities can be very hazardous and dangerous to mix together. If you plan on drinking, do so in small, well-controlled portions, and never drink and drive. In addition to that, if you have consumed alcohol, avoid swimming and handling any fireworks. Assign someone to be a designated driver to keep you and others around you safe.
Keep Cool in the Shade – Don’t forget to spend some ample time indoors or in the shade to avoid any illness due to heat. The risk of heat illness increases when you participate in strenuous activities and is also higher in those with chronic medical conditions and in the elderly. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Keep in mind that liquids like sodas and alcohol will dehydrate your system, increasing your risk for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Stick to water to be safe!
Cover and Protect Your Food – As soon as you’ve cooked your food, be sure to cover it and keep it safe! Cover your food with lids and nets to discourage bees, flies, and wasps from attending your party. When it’s hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, refrigerate perishable foods within an hour of it being outside. If the temperature is cooler than 90, you can leave foods out for two hours. Refrigeration discourages foodborne illnesses from recurring, so make sure that you are diligent in protecting your food in the summer heat!
Leave Fireworks to the Professionals – Love fireworks? Play it safe by attending your local fireworks show on the 4th! Attending a display organized by professionals will ensure that you have a fun, colorful, and safe time with your friends and family. If you do decide to set off your own fireworks, do so with caution. Store them in a safe place, and keep children away from fireworks at all times. If you have the honor of handling the fireworks, remember to wear the proper eye protection and keep a hose or bucket of water close by in the event of an emergency.
Even with your best intentions in mind, we know that anything can happen and emergencies do occur. Before Independence Day arrives, stop by Madison Mutual to chat with your agent about your insurance policies in the event of an accident or emergency. Call us at 1-800-766-MMIC or visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com to get started today. We hope you have a memorable and safe 4th of July!