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Friday, July 3, 2009

Stay Safe this Holiday Weekend

By Katie M

It's officially the start of Fourth of July weekend, so I thought I would dedicate this blog to ways you can stay safe with your family this busy holiday. The American Red Cross published a great list of safety tips – and since they are the safety experts – I thought I would share them with you. Please take a moment to read these tips before you head out to the lake, the beach or a backyard barbecue, and know this blog will always be archived under the Safety category on the left-hand side of Triad Smarty Pants. Enjoy the weekend!

Water Safety at the Pool and Beach:
• Swim in a supervised, marked area with a lifeguard present, and swim with others. Never swim alone.
• Enter the water feet first. Enter the water headfirst only when the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions.
• Adults should never leave a child unobserved around water. Practice "reach supervision" by staying within an arm's length of young children and weak swimmers while they are in and around the pool, lake or ocean.
• Take frequent breaks (about once an hour) where everyone gets out of the water, drinks water, reapplies sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and rests.
• If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. If you can't swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
• Watch out for the "dangerous too's" - too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.
• Post CPR instructions and directions to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number in the pool area.
• Keep toys away from the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children into the pool.
• If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom, and surface, as well as the surrounding pool area.

Firework Safety:
• 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.

Safe Grilling:
• Use gas and charcoal barbecue grills outside only.
• Position grills far from siding, deck railings, overhanging branches and house eaves.
• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
• Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
• Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using grills.
• Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.

For more safety tips or to register for a water safety, first aid or CPR/AED course, visit, or locally, you can visit the web site of our Smarty Sponsor, Brenner Children's Hospital, for information on infant, toddler and adult CPR classes.

And Smarties, don't forget to sign yourselves up for the fabulous FREE family portrait session with Andrea Halsey Photography. This promotion ends at Noon on Friday, July 17 and the winner will be announced on July 19. You must be a Triad Smarty Pants newsletter subscriber to enter. Just click here to register. Good luck!


Maythi said...

Thanks Katie for such a great list. It is so important to keep all these things in mind, especially during the holiday weekend. If more people took the necessary precautions, we could certainly avoid a lot of accidents and injuries.
Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable 4th of July!

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