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MIND & BODY: Safety is important part of July 4 celebration

July 4 is just a short distance away now, the holiday of the summer most families look forward to during vacation from school.

As such, remember to encourage safety with your family during this potentially dangerous time of year.

This year things look a little different than in years past.

Even though our patience is wearing thin with COVID-19, there are ways we can still enjoy the fireworks in the healthiest ways possible.

It is good to set a few rules for children to abide by while watching and setting off fireworks.

Here are a few ideas for you and your family to follow to have a happy and safe holiday:

— Do not forget social distancing with staying six feet apart. Use hand sanitizer as necessary.

— Start out by looking for an appropriate space or area that is big enough for fireworks lighting. Clear the area of any outside sources of possible damage, like cars, houses and other property. 

— Stay away from grass, straw, hay or any other flammable beds. Be sure to look for a gravel or concrete area for safe lighting and residuals.

— Have adults or responsible teens be the only ones allowed to light fireworks.

— Remember that alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a “designated lighter.”

— Watch out for animals.

— Do not use homemade or illegal fireworks.

— Watch and feel for changes in wind direction while lighting fireworks to prevent back fire or getting burned. Use long matches to prevent fingers burning.

— Never relight a “dud.” Wait 20 minutes and then soak in water.

— Keep aerosol cans away from the fire, like bug sprays. Remember to also keep hand sanitizer away from the fire, it usually contains 68 percent or more of flammable alcohol.

— Have water close by in case a fire does break out. Use a water hose or bucket.

— Be considerate of your neighbors. Clean up you mess. 

So, in having your July 4 party this year, be proactive and make it a safe one. Remember social distancing, pick out an area that is safe for lighting fireworks, always use adult supervision, be considerate of your neighbors’ property and do not to forget to clean up your mess.

Clark County Health Department provides programs for the entire family, including Freedom from Smoking, WIC, HANDS, family planning, well-child care/immunizations and home health care. For more information, call 744-4482 or visit our website at www.clarkhealthdept.org.