Fourth Of July Holiday Safety Tips
With Independence day weekend just around the corner, it’s important to keep a few simple things in mind to make sure you and your family stay safe.
Be Careful Around Fireworks
Quite a few serious holiday related accidents happen each year around fireworks. Your safest option is to enjoy the display from a distance. Most cities and townships put on a professional display. Find out where yours is, get there early and find a comfy spot. We like to bring out blankets, chairs along with some drinks and snacks and then just sit back and enjoy the show.
If you do want to shoot your own fireworks start by making sure it is allowed in your area. A quick call to the fire marshal will clear things up. He can also give you some additional tips for staying safe. After that, use common sense. Don’t drink and shoot fireworks and always keep kids at a safe distance. You should also have some water and/or fire extinguisher close buy just in case. It is also important to buy your fireworks at a reputable dealer and never try to make and shoot your own.
If your child will go to a fireworks display for the first time, try to explain what will be going on, especially the noise. Choose a spot that’s a little ways away from the display (to muffle the noise), but which will still give you a good view of the fireworks in the sky. For a few years my daughter was afraid of the loud noise. I started bringing her some ear plugs and she had a ball.
Water Safety Tips
Beaches, Lakes and Rivers are always a popular 4th of July destination as are pools and can get pretty crowded. This makes even more important to use caution. Keep a close eye on kids in and around the water. Put life jackets on kids in the water as well as on boats. Of course it goes without saying that being in, around or on the water while drinking is never a good idea.
Don’t rely on lifeguards to keep your kids safe. You always want to keep an eye on them yourself as well and be ready to jump in and get them.
Don’t Forget The Sun Screen
While we are on the topic of water… it’s easy to get sun burned around the water or even if you are just hanging out at a local park or in your own back yard. Apply sun screen and make sure you reapply throughout the day as water and sweat wear off the protection from the rays.
Just as important is staying well hydrated (bring plenty of water to drink) and to avoid over heating. Find some shade or head inside for a bit with the kids to allow everyone to cool down.
Simple Food Safety
Last but not least, let’s talk about food. After all, we tend to celebrate this holiday with lots of yummy dishes. Here are a few tips to keep the food from going bad.
Skip the Mayo or Serve it Right Away
Salads with mayonnaise based dressings (think pasta and potato salad) are always popular, but can go bad rather quickly. Your simplest option is to skip them. If you do want to serve something with mayonnaise, keep it cold (at home in the fridge, outside in a well iced cooler), then serve it right away. Toss any leftovers.
Careful With The Meat
Meat outside is also often a concern. Start by being very careful not to cross contaminate anything with raw meat. Use separate cutting boards, plates, containers, knives etc. and be diligent about cleaning everything that has come in contact with raw meat right away.
Cook the meat to at least 165 F before serving. Make sure it stays hot until your guests are ready to eat. Keeping hot foods at above 140F is usually a good idea. (Cold foods by the way should be kept below 40F). Cover finished items with aluminum foil to keep up the heat. Your best option is often to cook meats on the grill to order.
Above all, just toss anything that has been left out for a while. It’s not worth the risk of salmonella or food poisoning.
Stay safe and have a wonderful Fourth Of July!
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