From fireworks and hotdogs to impromptu history lessons, the Fourth of July is a great time to enjoy the company of our friends, families, and neighbors as we celebrate the birth of a nation. The holiday celebrates the day when the thirteen colonies declared their independence from England while in the midst of the Revolutionary War. It was not an easy decision or task and the colonists fought hard for the freedoms we are afforded today, from the well-remembered (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams…) to the forgotten.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As we recognize the Fourth, whether at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park, in your backyard, or on the water, here are some Fourth of July safety tips to help you and your loved ones celebrate responsibly.
Fourth of July Sun Safety
If you’re planning on spending the day outside, make sure to apply sunscreen liberally. Also, reapply! Read your specific sunscreen and follow its directions. Generally, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or if you’ve been swimming or sweating. Consider grabbing a Rays cap to reduce your sun exposure or relaxing under an umbrella if possible. Many of us tend to stay out in the sun longer when we’re wearing sunscreen, which is actually one of the negatives of sunscreen. Sunscreen is meant to block UV rays when you’re exposed to them, it is not meant to encourage extra time under the sun. Make sure you take a break so you don’t overheat or get heat stroke.
Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. The heat and the sun can do a number on our bodies. If you’re having a beer or two, make sure to drink plenty of water as well. Drinking while dehydrated can intensify the effects of alcohol.
Fourth of July Road Safety
The Fourth of July is the worst holiday for drunk driving accidents. If you’re planning on drinking, make sure you have a safe ride home or make plans to stay at a friend’s. If you’re driving, stay focused on the road. If you see someone driving who appears to be drunk, don’t try to engage with them. Instead, have someone in your vehicle get their information and call 911 with information regarding their license plate, the make and model of their car, and the direction in which they are heading. Pull over if you need to and avoid any interaction with a driver that seems impaired.
Fourth of July Firework Safety
Every year there are unfortunate firework accidents. Last year, an estimated 11,000 sought emergency care for firework-related injuries. If you’re planning on lighting a fuse this holiday, make sure to read the directions for any fireworks and to follow safety precautions.
- Leave the fireworks to the adults. Children and teens should not be responsible for lighting any fireworks.
- Wear protection. Cover your eyes with goggles and don’t have any body parts over the firework as you light it.
- Keep some water nearby in case of a fire.
- Light fireworks away from buildings and trees. Find a flat surface, preferably paved.
However you’re celebrating, stay safe and enjoy the many different events being offered throughout Tampa. From everyone at Westchase Roofing, have a fun and safe Fourth of July!