The 4th of July is often a busy day filled with family outings, parades, and fireworks. While you focus on the fun, don’t forget that keeping your family safe is just as important! Use these 8 family safety tips to plan and prepare for all of your Independence Day adventures and relax knowing you have taken the appropriate steps to keep your family safe and well.
1. Consider the weather
Dress appropriately for the weather in your area and keep in mind that while a day may start out cool, it will likely get warmer. Wear layers if necessary, but make the bottommost layer a light, cotton t-shirt or other breathable article of clothing that can be worn on its own in case it gets hot. Bring jackets in case of rain and for the evening if you’ll be out late watching fireworks. You may also want to bring bug spray if the weather is right for insects!
2. Stay hydrated
Pack or purchase water and hydrating drinks throughout the day. If it’s especially hot out, additional drinks will be necessary. Take advantage of drinking fountains and refills whenever possible.
3. Carry a First-Aid kit
Pack a small first-aid kit to carry with you. Adhesive bandages, antibacterial ointment, tweezers, and aspirin are just a few things you may want to have on hand. For a list of recommended items to put in a basic first-aid kit, take a look at this Red Cross article.
4. Keep the sun off
All family members should consider wearing sunglasses, hats, and cool but protective clothing for a day spent in the sun. Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen on your excursions and reapply it often.
5. Make it easier to keep track of everyone
Consider dressing your child in a color you will recognize. The 4th of July is sure to be full of reds, whites, and blues, so why not dress your two-year-old in neon yellow? If you are worried about a particular child, you may want to write a name and phone number on a strip of tape and stick it on the back of their clothing, or have them wear a medical ID bracelet like this one for added safety. For dark evenings watching fireworks, adorning kids with reflective tape or glowsticks can be helpful.
6. Have a plan
In the event that a family member does become separated from the group, having a plan is essential. Prepare the kids ahead of time. Let everyone know you plan to stay together. Assign each child a “buddy” and make sure they know that it’s their job to help keep track of that person. Consider designating a “family meeting spot” in case a child does wander off. Inform children about the people they can ask for help if they get lost – mothers with children, police officers, or other specified “safe” adults. Remind them that they should never leave the area or get into a car with someone they don’t know.
7. Practice firework safety
Do not allow children to play with or near fireworks or fireworks that have already been set off, as they may still be hot. If children use sparklers, make them aware that they should not be thrown, touched, or used to touch others. Make sure fireworks are lighted far away from homes, trees, dry brush, and especially people. Keep a bucket of water or running hose near your launching area.
8. Safety during other activities
Your family may spend time barbecuing, swimming, and doing other activities on the 4th of July. Take the appropriate safety measures in each of these situations to make your day the best it can be. Keep little hands away from hot grills and be aware of the foods children are eating. When swimming, remain near your children and explain water safety rules. Keep your eyes open and ask family and friends for help if you need it!
Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.
Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyinexperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.