4 tips for a safe and fun Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is often the highlight of the summer season, a chance to celebrate the gifts we've received as Americans. For some families, the Fourth is a time to enjoy a fireworks display, spend the day at the beach or lake, hike through the great outdoors or even just partake in a cookout. But no matter how you and yours celebrate the Fourth, safety should always be a priority, as all these activities carry certain risks. Here are four important safety tips for a truly memorable Fourth of July:

"Always stay 500 feet away from fireworks displays."

1. Be careful with fireworks
Fireworks usually come at the end of Fourth festivities. The Red Cross outlined several important considerations, especially if you're putting on your own display. For one, everyone who isn't letting off fireworks should stay at least 500 feet away. Fireworks should only ever be lit one at a time, and only when the person is wearing proper eye protection. It's also important to know where fireworks will end up and to shoot them away from groups of people or flammable materials. In case of fire, always have water or an extinguisher nearby.

2. Stay cautious with sparklers
While technically a form of fireworks, sparklers are seen as a safer variation suitable for small kids. However, as American Family Insurance pointed out, kids need to remember a few guidelines whenever waving those sparklers proudly. Avoid movement, as walking with a sparkler can cause fires. Sparklers should also only be lit one at a time, and multiple sparklers aren't just a fire risk but can cause severe burns. It's also important to dispose of sparklers properly. Never throw them out {while lit?}, and instead put them in a water source until the flame is completely extinguished.

3. Watch your picnic basket
No matter what you do on the Fourth, you'll probably spend the bulk of the day outdoors. If you plan to bring enough food to last you, there are a few things to keep in mind. It's important to keep food covered to protect it from bees and other insects, especially of you're enjoying sugary drinks that draw out creature. It's important to keep food protected to prevent foodborne illness. The Food and Drug Administration suggested refrigerating food after one hour any time the temperature peaks over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. And it's not just mayonnaise and egg products that can cause these illnesses; almost any food item can with enough heat exposure.

4. Think about the bigger picture
Because the Fourth of July happens smack dab in the middle of summer, many of the same general rules apply. That includes:

While injuries might be unavoidable during your Fourth of July festivities, your holiday doesn't have to be ruined. Instead, head to your local CareWell Urgent Care Center. With facilities across the entire Eastern Seaboard, CareWell's team of doctors can treat everything from bug bites and minor burns to moderate injuries. 

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