updated: Jul 02, 2012, 12:20 PM
Source: Red Cross
The Independence Day Holiday is just around the corner and many people will visit the beach, enjoy
fireworks, or fire up the grill for a backyard barbecue.
"The American Red Cross wants everyone to have a happy -- and safe -- Fourth of July holiday, and
taking a few simple steps to stay safe can help ensure that this will be an enjoyable holiday for all," said
Jim McGee, CEO of the American Red Cross serving Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo
BEACH SAFETY If swimming in the ocean is part of someone's holiday plans, they should check the
weather and water conditions beforehand and throughout the day, swim only at a lifeguard-protected
beach within the designated swimming area and obey all safety rules. Avoid alcohol before and during
any water activities and make sure to never swim alone.
Other tips to keep in mind:
Actively supervise children at all times - even if a lifeguard is present. Stay within arm's reach of young
children when they are in the water.
Have weak swimmers wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Don't rely on water wings or inflatable
Always enter shallow water feet first. Dive only in areas marked safe for diving.
RIP CURRENTS Be aware of the danger of rip currents and remember the following:
If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. Once free, turn and swim
If someone can't swim to the shore, they should shout for help, float or tread water until free of the rip
current and then head toward shore.
Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these
Additional water safety tips are located at redcross.org/watersafetytips.
WATCH THE SUN Everyone should limit the amount of direct sunlight they receive between 10 a.m. and
4 p.m., and apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15 throughout the day.
Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. Wear sunglasses that will absorb
UV sunlight to protect one's eyes. And remember to protect one's feet by wearing some kind of beach
FIREWORKS SAFETY Nothing says "Fourth of July" like fireworks. To help stay safe while enjoying them,
follow these safety steps:
Never give fireworks to small children and 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.
Never throw or point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies
nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and
supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization - not a
government agency - and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform
its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at
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