In 1776, the first shots at Lexington and Concord were fired, marking the beginnings of the American Revolution. Today, Americans take time each year on July 4th to celebrate the birth of our nation and commemorate those who fought for our freedom. On this day of backyard barbecues, fireworks, and outdoor fun, remember to keep a few safety tips in mind:
- Leave Fireworks to the Professionals
Massachusetts law prohibits private citizens from using, selling, or possessing fireworks. Additionally, fireworks purchased legally elsewhere and then transported into the state are strictly prohibited. There are a variety of fireworks displays supervised by professionals to enjoy in Massachusetts instead.
- Keep Children Safe
Whether on the playground or at a campground, make sure children are supervised while celebrating outside during the holiday. Keep fireworks and sparklers out of reach of children at all times. Remove pieces of small toys, balloons, , and other items that may be potential choking hazards or dangerous to small children.
- Consume Alcohol Responsibly
- Bring Sunscreen
Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before participating in outdoor activities to reduce the risk for one of the most preventable types of cancer: skin cancer. Protect children from the sun by having them wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen, as well as suggesting they play in shaded areas. Consult your pediatrician before using sunscreen on infants.
- Review Safe Boating Practices
Heading out on the water is a great way to take in the spectacular summer weather and outdoor scenery that Massachusetts has to offer. Look over safe boating practices before embarking on your next trip. Remember to equip your boat with lifejackets in appropriate sizes and types for the intended wearers – even pets. Stay alert while navigating, and follow state boating laws by traveling at safe speeds.
- Check for Ticks
Protect yourself from tick-borne diseases including West Nile Virus and Lyme disease by knowing how to recognize ticks. Bathe or shower as soon as possible after being outdoors, especially in moist, wooded, or grassy areas, and be sure to perform a tick check. Use fine-tuned tweezers to remove ticks immediately. Keep backyards free from rotting leaves and damp grasses to eliminate potential breeding grounds.
- Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of fluids while spending time outside in the hot sun to avoid heat illness. Consumption of alcohol also causes dehydration, so be sure to drink plenty of water with any adult beverages. Keep cool by staying in the shade when possible. Look after pets, infants, and the elderly, all of whom are more susceptible to heat stroke.
Whether you’re celebrating the birth of our nation with barbecues or by camping with friends, follow these simple precautions for a safe holiday. Bring sunscreen, stay hydrated, and be mindful of outdoor creatures. Have a happy and healthy 4th of July!
How do you plan to celebrate our nation’s birthday safely? Leave us suggestions in the comments below or tweet us, @MassGov.
Tags: 4th of July, Boston, Fireworks, Fourth of July, Grilling safety, holidays, Independence Day, Massachusetts, national holidays, safety, Springfield, summer safety, travelling to Boston, west nile virus, worcester
Carpooling and Ride Share Options in Massachusetts posted on Oct 22
Every year, each commuter in the Commonwealth produces 62 pounds of carbon monoxide, 9 pounds of hydrocarbons, and 5 pounds of nitrogen oxides, according to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Cars, trucks, and buses produce approximately 40 percent of all air pollutants. In …Continue Reading Carpooling and Ride Share Options in Massachusetts
National Down Syndrome Awareness Month posted on Oct 17
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome according to the National Down Syndrome Society. The disease affects a child’s physical development, language, and cognitive skills. Massachusetts participates in Down …Continue Reading National Down Syndrome Awareness Month
National Teen Driver Safety Week posted on Oct 16
Getting behind the wheel for the first time can be exciting for teens, but a worrying experience for parents. While driving safely is a responsibility for all motorists, teen drivers are more prone to high-risk behavior behind the wheel. According to the most current data …Continue Reading National Teen Driver Safety Week