Independence Day is almost here! As you hop in the pool, start up the grill, and celebrate America, consider some of these safety tips from the American Red Cross.
Be careful with those fireworks: the Red Cross recommends the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a local show put on by professionals — but remember to stay at least 500 feet from the show. If you’re lighting fireworks at your home, remember to wear eye protection and always keep a supply of water nearby as a precaution.
Mind the grill: Never grill indoors (or in any enclosed area), and make sure the grill is away from the house, deck, tree branches, or anything else that could catch fire.
Be wary in the water: Pay attention to local weather conditions, and always swim sober.
Put on that sunscreen: Sun and UV ray exposure can be dangerous. Limit exposure to direct sunlight when you’re out between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., advises the Red Cross. They also recommend wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
Watch out for heat stroke! The hot July weather and excitement of the holiday can raise your chances of becoming affected by the heat. Watch out for the signs of heat stroke, such as hot, red skin, changes in consciousness, a rapid or weak pulse, and rapid or shallow breathing. If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 9-1-1 and move the person to a cooler place. Meanwhile, quickly cool the body by applying cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin (or misting it with water) and fanning the person. Finally, watch for signs of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the person lying down.