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Staying safe this Fourth of July

Created: 07/02/2014 11:11 AM WHEC.com

The Fourth of July is just two days away. If you plan on celebrating with a cookout, going for a swim or with some fireworks, the Red Cross has some safety tips.

If you plan on going for a swim, the Red Cross says to always swim with a buddy and only swim in areas supervised by lifeguards. 

The group also says the best way to enjoy fireworks is to leave it to the professionals and go see a public fireworks display.

As far as grilling goes, always supervise a grill when in use. Make sure the grill is in an open space away from the house or anything else that can catch fire and make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from it.

More safety tips can be found below:

Swimming Tips

1. Learn to swim and only swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. If swimming at the beach check weather conditions before going in the water.

2. Always swim with a buddy and always swim sober

3. Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on them alone. 

4. Provide close constant attention to children and inexperienced swimmers you are supervising in or near the water. Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child's life to another child. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water. If a child is missing, check the water first. 

5. At beaches, be aware of the danger of rip currents. If caught in one, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. When free, turn and swim toward the shore. If unable to swim to the shore, call out for help, float or tread water until free of the rip current and then head toward shore.

6. Wear beach shoes at the beach. The sand is hot and can burn someone's feet and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.

7. Limit the amount of direct sunlight received between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply often. 

8. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.

9. Secure the backyard pool with appropriate barriers including four-sided fencing.

10. Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

Highway Safety Tips

1. Buckle seat belts, observe speed limits.

2. Do not drink and drive.

3. Pay full attention to the road - don't use a cell phone to call or text.

4. Use caution in work zones.

5. Clean the vehicle's lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.

Fireworks Safety Tips

1. Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging. 

2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution. 

3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection. 

4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud." 

5. Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. 

Grilling Safety Tips

1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.

2. Never grill indoors - not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area. 

3. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.

4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.  

5. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.





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