Many of us are excited to resume our usual gatherings and activities for Independence Day. We’ve all been through so much with the COVID-19 pandemic, so we deserve to have some fun! While you’re out there having fun, it’s important to also stay safe. Here are some important safety tips when celebrating this July 4th weekend.
Fireworks Safety and Power Wheelchair Users
If you want to enjoy an awesome fireworks display this year, we recommend attending a public fireworks show that is put on by professionals. Your local community is probably planning a fireworks show for everyone in your area, so check it out. You can scope out a great place to view the fireworks while still maintaining a safe distance. The American Red Cross recommends staying at least 500 feet away from the show.
If you choose to purchase fireworks and host your own little show at home or with family, here some important safety tips to follow.
- Follow the directions on the fireworks packaging
- Wear eye protection when lighting fireworks
- Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution
- Light only one firework at a time and never try to relight a “dud” firework
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets
When it comes to our furry friends, we need to be mindful of their comfort. Make sure your pets are safety secured inside your home before you begin lighting the fireworks. For some animals, fireworks can be scary and they may run away.
If your power wheelchair has front and rear LED fender lights, we recommend turning them on when it starts to get dark. LED fender lights on power wheelchairs help you see and be safely seen during the fireworks show.
Wear Hearing Protection
Whether you are attending a professional show or hosting your own, it’s important to wear ear protection. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA, encourages everyone to incorporate hearing protection into their celebrations. Here are some of their suggestions to protect your hearing this Independence Day.
Hearing damage can happen in an instant. A single loud blast or explosion that lasts less than one second can cause permanent hearing loss. Basic earplugs offer good protection for most teens and adults. If there are small children, ASHA recommends well-fitting earmuffs instead of ear plugs. If at any point during the fireworks you experience ringing in your ears or other discomfort, leave the noisy situation right away.
Picnic and Water Safety for Wheelchair Users
If your Independence Day celebration includes a picnic or spending time in the water, we have some helpful safety tips and things to keep in mind.
When it comes to food safety, it’s important to keep perishable foods in the refrigerator or cooler with plenty of ice or freezer packs. Don’t leave food out in the sun. When preparing food, be sure to wash your hands or sanitize before you begin. When cooking on the grill, use long-handled tools for flipping burgers or hotdogs. Plus, keep pets and children away from the grill or other hot surfaces.
If you have the Quantum backup camera on your power wheelchair, be sure to use it when navigating crowded picnic areas. You can see children or pets that may be behind you when backing up.
If your friends or family are going for a swim or taking the boat out, make sure everyone wears a life jacket that is properly fitted, especially young children or inexperienced swimmers. Keep an eye on small children that are playing in or near the water.
We hope everyone has a wonderful Independence Day and remember to stay safe!