The 4th of July holiday usually means a trip to the lake, shooting off fireworks or simply enjoying a back yard barbecue. Whatever you have planned the American Red Cross offers a few tips to make sure you have a safe 4th of July celebration.


When swimming, actively supervise children at all times - even if a lifeguard is present. Make sure weak swimmers are wearing a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. And always enter shallow water feet first. Diving should only be done in those areas marked safe for such activity. You can get more Red Cross water safety tips here.

Don't forget the sunscreen! The Red Cross recommends at least 15 SPF. You should limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10am and 4pm. Drink plenty of water, and limit (or avoid altogether) drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. Sunglasses that will absorb UV sunlight are great for protecting your eyes, and beach shoes will help protect your feet.

The Red Cross suggests never giving fireworks to small children and always following the instructions on the packaging. It's always a great idea to keep a supply of water close by. The person lighting the fireworks should be wearing eye protection, and remember to only light one firework at a time and never try to relight a 'dud'. All fireworks should be stored in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

If grilling is in your holiday plans, remember to always watch the grill when it is in use. Never grill in any enclosed area and make sure children and pets stay away from the grill. Keep the grill away from anything that could catch fire, using long-handled tools especially made for grilling.

However you plan to celebrate, Lonestar 102.3 and the American Red Cross want you to have a safe and happy 4th of July!