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Fourth of July Popsicles, Independence Day

How to Keep Your Fourth of July Celebration Fun & Safe

By Kristy Warren


Fourth of July kicks off summer fun for many families. The sun is shining, we have a day off work / school, and the COVID-19 vaccine has made it possible for fully vaccinated friends and family to get together more safely this year. We’re all eager to make the most of summer but July 4th is nicknamed "the most dangerous holiday of the year" for a reason. From fireworks burns to heat stroke to car crashes, it's an injury prone holiday. Keep these simple safety tips in mind to enjoy your Independence Day celebration safely. 




  • If you'll be having fun outdoors, plan outdoors activities for early or late in the day when the sun is less intense. Protect yourself with a hat, sunglasses, and broad-spectrum sunscreen. 

  • Don’t lose track of time. Time flies when you’re having fun, so remember to take breaks in the shade or indoors to cool down. Remember to reapply sunscreen after swimming and approx. every 2 hours to avoid painful sunburns, as SPF protection rubs off via scrubbing, time, absorption, and sweating.

  • Stay hydrated. Remember, party favorites like alcohol, sugary fruit punch, and soda dehydrate the body. Reach for water instead, especially in high heat and when working up a sweat! Do not imbibe alcohol when handling fireworks or boating (a leading cause of drowning deaths) and designate a sober driver to safely ferry people home if they've been drinking. 

  • Know the signs of heat illness. Be on the lookout for any signs of heat stroke like dizziness, nausea, confusion, headaches, rapid pulse, or fainting. Heat stroke can be fatal. If someone appears to be suffering from heat stroke, move them to a cool location and call 911.

  • Take precautions with pets and young children. Never use fireworks near your pets or young children who may run into harm's way. If you'll be attending an Independence Day event with fireworks or loud music, keep your pet at home indoors in a quiet, escape-proof area. Loud noises from fireworks and parties can frighten, confuse, and hurt the ears of animals and young children, causing them to cower in fear, cry, or attempt to run away. 

  • Treat fireworks with care. Always follow the instructions carefully and closely supervise children / teenagers—even a simple sparkler can cause painful burns or start a devastating wildfire. It's also important to remember that not everyone enjoys fireworks and may wish to avoid that aspect of the festivities. The loud sounds and bright explosions can trigger flashbacks for combat veterans and other people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or sound sensitivities. 

  • Play it safe. If your Fourth of July gathering includes people who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, staying physically distanced outdoors (i.e., six feet apart) while wearing masks is the safest way to celebrate. With Tioga County's low vaccination rate, not enough of our population has been immunized to avoid the risk of infecting a large group of people. It is still best to avoid large groups or parties. If attending an event, follow the recommended prevention measures, do not share utensils or food, and make sure to wash your hands regularly with soap & water for 20 seconds. If you can’t make it to a sink, use hand sanitizer.


For more health and safety tips, stay tuned to laurelhc.org or visit facebook.com/laurelhc.