Houston Chronicle

Stay safe while setting off fireworks this July Fourth

- By Kyrie O’Connor Source: Baylor College of Medicine and National Jewish Health

Before you light anything this July Fourth holiday, make sure you know what you’re doing.

Fireworks are a great part of Independen­ce Day festivitie­s, but it’s important to keep the safety and well-being of children (and, for that matter, pets) top of mind.

Some simple, commonsens­e tips can keep everyone happy.

For July Fourth, here are 12 ways to keep kids and pets safe around fireworks.

1 Grownups in charge

Make sure an adult is always present.

2 Eyes have it Use eye protection. 3 Back off

Maintain distance once the fireworks are lit, and keep a fire extinguish­er nearby.

4 Don’t mess around

Don’t alter or re-light fireworks.

5 Be smart

Don’t wear loose clothing near fireworks, and make sure the adults go easy on the alcohol.

6 Be legal

Use fireworks only where the law permits.

7 Hand injury

If a hand gets burned and it looks like a sunburn, run it under cold water and cover with a light bandage. If the burned area bubbles or looks waxy, get to an emergency room.

8 Eye injury

Wash with water and nothing else. Don’t rub or scratch.

9 Asthma

If a child has severe or poorly controlled asthma, limit or avoid fireworks.

10 Upwind

If a child has asthma, don’t sit close to or downwind of any display. Make sure the inhaler is nearby.

11 For pets

OneMind Dogs recommends that the pet’s caretaker keep a calm attitude. Make sure all body language also shows calmness and confidence. Let the animal know it’s OK to seek a safe place, such as a crate. Reward with some periodic small treats.

12 For humans

Make sure everyone, even children, understand­s fireworks safety.

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