It's a big day, I get it. You wanna get out there, have some fun, let loose a little. That's great, but do keep your head firmly attached to your shoulders.It's easy to stay safe, and it doesn't have to stop the fun. Just follow a few of these safety tips from the Red Cross, and you'll have a great fourth!

Fireworks Safety: The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Sedalia doesn't allow fireworks in the city limits. If someone is setting fireworks off at home out in the county, they should follow these safety steps:

    • Never give fireworks to small kids, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
    • Keep a bucket 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 a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or anything that could catch on fire.

Grilling Safety: Every year people in this country are injured while using backyard charcoal or gas grills. Follow these steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:

  • If the barbecue is fired up, stay near and keep your eye on it.
  • Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
    Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

Swimming Safety: If someone’s holiday includes swimming at the lake, they should learn how to swim in the water (which is different than swimming at the pool, remember) and only swim at a lifeguarded beach, within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. Other safety tips include:

  • Get a weather update. Check to see if any warning signs or flags are posted.
  • Swim sober and always swim with a buddy.
  • Have young kids and inexperienced swimmers wear a life jacket.
  • Protect ya neck – don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters.
  • Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults.
  • Watch out for fish or other creatures. Water plants and animals may be dangerous. Avoid patches of plants and leave animals alone.

Sun Protection:  Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and wear a  sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Don't forget to reapply, it may wash off or wear off. Remember to drink plenty of water,  even if you're not thirsty.  Don't over do it with alcohol or caffeine - that's not going to help you stay hydrated.  Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and footwear in case there's something you can step on.

During hot weather, watch for signs of heat stroke—hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. If you think someone is suffering from heat stroke:

  • Call 9-1-1 and move the person to a cooler place.
  • Quickly cool the body by applying cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin (or misting it with water) and fanning the person.
  • Watch for signs of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the person lying down.

Have a great Independence Day!

Safely yours,

Behka