Have a happy, safe July 4

While Shelby County citizens celebrate our nation’s Independence Day this weekend with beach vacations, fireworks and barbecues, the Shelby County Red Cross offered some tips to help everyone stay safe and happy through the three-day weekend.

For fireworks safety:

-Never give fireworks to small children. Always follow the directions on the packaging.

-Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.

-When lighting fireworks, have eye protection.

-Light only one firework at a time. Never re-light a dud.

-Never throw or point a firework towards people, animals, vehicles, buildings or flammable materials.

-Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

-Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.

For safe barbecuing:

-Use gas and charcoal 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 grill area.

-Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have been ignited.

-Always supervise a grill when in use.

For water safety:

-Swim in a supervised, marked area with a lifeguard present.

-Swim with others, never alone.

-Enter the water feet first. Only enter water headfirst when the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions.

-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.

-Take frequent breaks, at least once an hour, where everyone gets out of the water, drinks water, reapplies sunscreen and rests.

-Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.