Independence Day, a day filled with bar-be-ques, libations, and incredible firework displays. The 4th of July is the major summer kickoff event that brings family and friends together to revel in our countries independence.
However, there is a not-so-fun side of this holiday. Every year there are thousands of injuries. In 2018 there were more than 9,000 firework-related injuries, and 36% were to children under the age of 15.
If you have pets, you know the 4th of July can be an anxiety-ridden day for our furry friends. Animal shelters pick up more dogs during the July 4th week than any other time of the year! Here are some tips to keep your kids and pets safe this holiday.
It seems like common-sense, but make sure kids are not left unattended or left alone near any type of fireworks. Kids have an innate curious nature and often think they are more qualified for things than they are.
If you live in a legal firework zone and purchase some family-friendly fountains, ensure they are only being lit by adults, and kids are a safe distance from any fireworks. I would even caution using sparklers with little ones.
I have seen kids injure their fingertips in the past and it’s an instant way to ruin the magic of the day. Last year there were around 500 emergency related injuries associated with sparklers. The fireworks that envoke the most fear for me personally are the spinny types. Those fireworks have a mind of their own and often cause slight chaos, and if a child is in the way or nearby the stakes are higher for a mishap.
When it comes to our pet, the week surrounding the 4th of July, you might notice some changes in their personality.
The loud explosive noise from fireworks and firecrackers can agitate their demeanor. I have two dogs and each one responds differently to the outside noises they hear. One gets anxious, almost to the point of paranoia, pacing the house trying to find a safe hiding place. The other one gets cranky and constantly barks out of frustration. Since animals have sensitive ears I put cotton balls into their ears to try and muffle the noise for them. Make sure you are checking in on your pets throughout the day to give them extra attention and comfort.
Pets are not the only one with sensitive ears. As parents, it comes as no surprise that our kiddos ears can be extremely delicate, which is why I suggest that you get some ear muff protectors. They help to cancel out loud noises and are good for tons of occasions: concerts, amusement parks, sporting events, airplane rides, and so much more!
Another way to keep our kids and pets safe is to bring the fun inside.
Keep the animals secured to one room, taking them out for potty breaks. You can create fun and easy crafts to entertain the kids inside. One of my favorite things to do it in the morning of July 4th is to have my daughter help me make healthy popsicles that we can enjoy later in the day when the sun is at its peak. As the firework displays begin you can always watch them from a window, or even find a great firework display on tv. Staying inside is one way to ensure your pets and kids won’t go missing.
However, being inside on one of the most popular outdoorsy days of the year isn’t always realistic. If you plan on traveling for the holiday and bringing the whole gang along, it’s a good idea to ensure your pet’s tags are up-to-date. It’s also wise that your pets are microchipped and registered to your home address. The week of July 4th animal shelters pick up twice as many dogs, compared to any other week of the year.
Another important tip for every person and animal this July 4th; stay hydrated!
With all the merriment and revelry this day sparks it’s easy to spend the day eating salty foods and sip sweet refreshments. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water as you partake in the festivities.
Lastly, have fun, be safe and Happy Independence Day!