Red Cross Issues Safety Tips for Fourth of July - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Red Cross Issues Safety Tips for Fourth of July

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From fireworks to backyard barbeques, people are gearing up to celebrate the Fourth of July. And the American Red Cross has a few steps they can follow to be safe.

"We want everyone to have a great holiday, and a safe one," says West Dakota executive director Jessica Gilbertson. "Whether the weekend will involve fireworks, grilling or going to the lake, we have safety tips everyone can follow."

When it comes to fireworks, the safest way to enjoy them is to attend a show put on by professionals, and stay at least 500 feet away. 

If you're setting fireworks off at home, you should follow a few simple precautions. When lighting the fireworks, wear eye protection, only light one at a time, never attempt to relight a "dud," and always keep a supply of water close by. It is also important to never give fireworks to children, follow package instructions, and never point or throw fireworks at people, animals, cars, or flammable materials. If you see someone using fireworks haphazardly, you should leave the area immediately. Lastly, fireworks should be stored in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

Every year, people are injured while using backyard charcoal or gas grills. When barbecuing, always supervise a grill and never grill indoors. Use long-handled tools, never add lighter fluid after coals have been ignited, and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Those who take their celebration to the lake, should obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. They should also keep alert for local weather conditions, be cautious of plants and animals and pay constant attention to both children and adults while at beach. Those who decide to go into the water should swim sober and always swim with a buddy. Inexperienced children and should wear a life jacket. It is also important to never dive headfirst and always walk carefully into open waters.

Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply sunscreen often. Remember to drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. Protect the eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent of UV sunlight. Protect the feet - the sand can burn them and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.

It is also important to watch for signs of heat stroke when celebrating outdoors. Signs of heatstroke include hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. If you think someone is suffering from heat stroke, you should call 911 and move the person to a cooler place and quickly cool the body by applying cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin and fanning the person.  You should keep the person lying down, watch for signs of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear.

If you have any other first aid questions, you can download the Red Cross first aid app from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.

 

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