3 Tips for a Fun and Safe Fourth of July
Looking forward to hosting or attending an Independence Day celebration? These 3 tips can help your family have a safe and fun Fourth of July!
Tip 1: Plan Gatherings With Health and Safety in Mind
With more and more people getting the COVID-19 vaccine, this year’s July 4th celebrations may start to look a little bit more normal – but COVID-19 is still present in our community, so it’s important to keep the health and safety of your friends and family members top of mind. At your gatherings, be sure to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines so that everyone can celebrate safely and comfortably.
For groups in which everyone has been vaccinated, celebrations can look relatively normal – the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that “fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing” in places where it is not otherwise required by mandate or policy.
For people who haven’t received the vaccine, current recommendations include wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from people who do not live in the same house as you. Avoiding large crowds and indoor gatherings can also reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. For more detailed information, check out this guide from the CDC.
Additionally, everyone can help prevent the spread of many kinds of germs by frequently washing their hands. And if someone is feeling sick, it’s best for them to stay home to prevent spreading illness to others.
Tip 2: Remember Food Safety Guidelines
If you’re planning to eat with your guests, reduce the risk of spreading germs (including COVID-19) by avoiding shared food items like bowls of chips or make-your-own burgers, hotdogs and sandwiches. Instead of having a buffet table, offer individually plated or wrapped portions for each person and replace shared beverage dispensers with individual cans or bottles.
It’s also important to store your food safely! Warm summer temperatures combined with food that’s left out for too long can lead to food poisoning. To avoid spoiled food:
- Keep your cooked foods at a temperature above 140 degrees and your chilled foods at a temperature below 40 degrees.
- Pack up and chill your leftovers as soon as you can. Bacteria grows fast at room temperature – two hours is the maximum time food can sit out. If it’s hotter than 90 degrees, then the longest food can sit out is one hour.
Tip 3: Practice Firework Safety
Fireworks and July 4th go hand-in-hand, but it’s important to remember that fireworks can be dangerous. Mishandling them may lead to serious injuries requiring emergency medical care. It’s best to leave the fireworks shows to the professionals, but if you do plan to light them yourself at home, remember to:
- Use fireworks far away from any buildings, including your house.
- Don’t use fireworks on dry grass or near any leaves, trees or shrubbery.
- Know the location of other people, your kids and your pets at all times. Don’t let them stand close while setting off fireworks.