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Tips offered for 4th of July

July 4
Jul. 03, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

The American Red Cross offers the following tips to keep safe during the Fourth of July:

GRILLING SAFETY: Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Never grill indoors -- not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill. Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using grills.

WATER SAFETY: If someone's holiday includes swimming in the lake, river or pool obey the following safety tips: Keep alert for local weather conditions. Swim sober and always swim with a buddy. Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Don't dive headfirst. Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults while near water. Additional water safety tips are available at redcross.org/watersafetytips

SUN PROTECTION: Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply sunscreen often. Remember to drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. Protect the eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent of UV sunlight. Protect the feet -- the sand can burn them and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.

WATCH FOR HEAT STROKE: During hot weather, watch for signs of heat stroke -- hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. If it's suspected someone is suffering from heat stroke: Call 911 and move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body by applying cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin (or misting it with water) and fanning the person. Watch for signs of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the person lying down.

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