Before you head out for today’s picnic, hikes, swims and of course fireworks. make sure you’re set for a safe and happy 4th! Here are some tips for making today’s fun great for kids, pets and everyone else.
Swimming and boating are holiday favorites, and in Central Texas the heat makes it even more of a wonderful choice. Kids Health has a wonderful article on water safety and kids. Their advice? Make sure any child on any boat is wearing an approved safety vest. Blow up water rings and toys flotation devices are no substitute for the real thing. And if you’re heading to the 68 degree water at Barton Springs Pool in Austin (and yes, they are open today, even though Thursday is usually their cleaning day), beware of the water temperature especially for younger kids. According to Kids Health,
Body temperature drops more quickly in water than on land, and it does not take long for hypothermia to set in. If a child is shivering or experiencing muscle cramps, get him or her out of the water immediately.
No matter what the temperature, kids should never be left unattended near water. At a party, make sure someone is designated to watch the kids or the pool/lake edge at all times. Sadly, too many water accidents happen when there’s a crowd, and everyone thinks someone else is watching the kids.
Fireworks and kids
My brother has his own advice as I’m writing this (no Roman candle fights, don’t believe your sister when she says “Hey hold these fireworks while I light them!” and other bits of sage advice….thanks little brother! But if you want some real advice, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers some great tips on having fun with 4th of July fireworks and still keeping kids and adults safe, including:
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
Hey, maybe my brother’s on to something after all!
Food and the 4th
With summer temps high in so many parts of the country, keeping your picnic food safe all day is another challenge. Kids, especially little ones, are extra susceptible to food poisoning, so make sure everything is kept in coolers or on ice when it’s not being eaten.
And if kids wander away from their plates for more than a few minutes, toss it and replace it with fresh items when they’re ready to eat again. It only takes a few minutes at summer tempertures to start bacteria growth in meat (even cooked meat), salads, cheeses and cut veggies, so better to waste a bit than take a chance on tummy troubles later on.
But no matter what you do…
Take today to have fun. And to thank your lucky stars that you can still protest back decisions in our capital buildings, that you can share your opinion without being arrested for disagreeing with the powers that be, and that when you hear those big bangs in the night sky tonight, it will be fireworks instead of bombs. We may not have it perfect, but we have a great start on it. Happy Fourth of July! #MomUp !