July is the month of parades, fairs, barbecues, and fireworks. Not to get gloomy about it, but’s also the month of heat stroke, falls, burns, and cuts. Emergency rooms around the country see a spike in outdoor-fun accidents, bringing a halt to many families’ summer excitement. Follow a few safety practices to make sure your celebrations this month are safe and spectacular.
Even if fireworks are legal in your area, there are still some safety considerations to implement. Don’t let children handle fireworks, big or small, and if they’re playing with sparklers, make sure their shoes are on, explain the rules clearly, and have a water bucket close by for the sticks. Don’t get illegal fireworks, and never let off aerial fireworks in restricted or wooded locations. If a firework malfunctions, don’t try to relight it. Never use fireworks inside a building or near flammable materials. Avoid lighting off fireworks while intoxicated, and don’t point or throw fireworks at another person. In many cases, leaving the fireworks to the professionals is the better choice.
Working the grill or smoker for the after-parade barbecue is a fun way to end the festivities. Make sure you’re cooking on clean grills or smokers to avoid any fire hazards, and always use these machines outside and in a well-ventilated area. Make sure your grill or smoker is stable on the ground and that you’re following electric codes. Keep the flames under control and be ready with a fire extinguisher in case of an emergency. Wear safe clothing that won’t hang over the fire and stand away from the heat and flames to avoid burns. Don’t move a grill when it’s hot, consider placing grill mats underneath, and never leave a lit grill unattended. You don’t want to have to cut a party short because of a preventable accident.
Parades and Outdoor Celebrations
Whether you’re walking in the parade or gathering the candy, be aware of your surroundings and the weather. Wear sunscreen, bring enough water and snacks, and keep your group together. For parade walkers, be aware of the floats and vehicles, and don’t jump in and out of trailers or floats as you’re walking the parade route. Bystanders need to be careful with small children so they don’t run out in the road for candy. Many parades have large vehicles and it’s hard to see little kids running around below. Additionally, the craze of getting that best candy can create potential for run ins, falls, scrapes, and bumped heads. During all these celebrations, parking lots may be especially busy with kids running around, so be extra cautions when driving in and out of these areas.July festivities are full of excitement and fun, but it’s not long before you’re hot, tired, and groggy. Still, it’s important to stay alert at all times and discuss safety plans with your family. Arrive early to activities so you’re not in a rush, be prepared with appropriate weather gear, and always have a first aid kit available close by. By prioritizing safety, your family can have a stress-fee, fun summer.