As we look forward to celebrating Independence Day this Thursday, the Hawaii Red Cross offers the following tips to make the holiday enjoyable and safe around fireworks, in the water, and at gatherings like picnics and parties.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public firework show put on by professionals. If you are setting fireworks off at home, follow these safety steps:
- Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
- Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
- Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
Eating and attending picnics is popular on the 4th of July, s practicing safety when preparing and eating food is important.
- Wash your hands before preparing the food.
- Don’t leave food out in the hot sun. Keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs.
- Always supervise the grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe. Keep children and pets away from the grill.
Practicing good water safety habits can prevent accidents and tragedies at pools, waterparks and at the beach.
- Provide close and constant attention to children. Always supervise them in or near water.
- Fence pools and spas with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing.
- Learn swimming and water survival skills.
- Children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear life jackets.
- Always swim in a lifeguarded area.
- Alcohol and swimming do not mix. Try not to swim alone, but in groups or with a partner.
- Know your limitations and be sure you can swim back to shore if swimming in the ocean.
- If you are caught in a rip current, try not to panic. Signal to those on shore that you need assistance. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, swim toward shore. If you can’t swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
- Wear protective clothing, including a hat and use sunscreen.
For more information to help prepare for an emergency, download the Red Cross First Aid App which provides instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies. This app can be downloaded for free at redcross.org/apps.
About the Red Cross:
From hurricanes to house fires, the Red Cross responds to disasters statewide every 4 days. Over 95% of Red Cross services are provided by volunteers. The Hawaii Red Cross is always looking for people with various backgrounds, talents, and skills to assist with all facets of disaster relief, and continually recruits, trains and mobilizes volunteers to help those in need.
The Red Cross is a non-profit humanitarian organization which provides assistance to meet the immediate emergency needs of those affected by disasters. All Red Cross assistance to disaster victims is free. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it depends on public contributions to help others. Your gift supports the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross in your community, across the country and around the world.
To send a contribution, mail your check to American Red Cross, 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816 or make a secure online donation at redcross.org/hawaii or call (808) 739-8109.