ST. LOUIS — It is almost time for the long Fourth of July weekend, which means many people will be swimming, grilling, and near fireworks.
The American Red Cross Greater St. Louis Region wants to remind families to stay safe.
“The American Red Cross wants to help families avoid tragedies by reminding everyone to take simple safety steps when using fireworks, or being near water or at the barbecue grill,” said Cindy Erickson, CEO of the American Red Cross Greater St. Louis Region. “Also, before the holiday weekend, I encourage everyone with a smartphone to download the Red Cross First Aid app: it’s simple, it’s lifesaving and it’s free. If a medical emergency occurs, those with the First Aid app will know what to do.”
· 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. Many states outlaw most fireworks. If someone is setting off fireworks at home, they should follow these safety steps:
· 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 a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials.
· Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
· Never grill indoors – not in your house, garage, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
· Make sure everyone – including pets – stays away from the grill.
· Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
· Use long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
· Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
· Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.
· Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. Other safety tips include:
· Swim sober and always swim with a buddy.
· Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
· Protect the neck – don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters.
· Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults while in the pool or at the beach.
DOWNLOAD FIRST AID APP: Another thing people can do is download the free Red Cross First Aid app, which puts expert advice for everyday emergencies at someone’s fingertips. The free app is available for direct download from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores. More preparedness and safety information is available at www.redcross.org.