Tips for Keeping Children Safe on the 4th of July

When I was growing up in Ashland, Oregon I looked forwarded to 4th of July every year. There was a parade in the morning, followed by a fair with food, booths of crafts, toys, and other goodies. The whole day ended with fireworks show that you could see from almost anywhere in town. As a kid, it was an adventure that I happily went on with my family and as I got older, I went on with my friends. Some of my favorite memories of growing up are from the 4th of July and to this day, it is the day of the year I get the most homesick for Oregon and my family.

Part of what made the day so fun was that my parents often took the time to plan the day out and prepare for anything that we might need.

Whether you are going to the beach, park, parade, or having a bbq we have you everything you need to keep your whole family safe, happy, and healthy on the 4th.

The day before the 4th of July, assemble a few items to have with you the next day.

  • Backpack or bag: A bag that can easily be slung over the shoulder and that will hold everything is ideal.
  • Sunscreen: As someone who burns in under 30 minutes, I have learned to slather myself in sunscreen. Remember that even on overcast days, the potential to burn is there. Don’t forget the ears, neck, head (i.e. scalp), and the tops of feet. These areas are often missed. Need some tips on selecting sunscreen? Check out Crystal’s blog for the lowdown on all things sunscreen related!
  • Water: While most 4th of July activities include beverages, it is important to have water on hand to stay hydrated. Drinking small amounts of water throughout the day will help keep you and your little one hydrated. Drinking other beverages is okay, as long as you balance them out with water.
  • Snacks: Much like beverages, food is usually present during the 4th. However, having a few snacks on hand will help keep your little one (or any family member) from having a hungry-related meltdown in between meals. For portable snacks, check out our the road trip snack video!  
  • Change of clothes including sweatshirt: With so many 4th of July activities, having an extra set of clothes for your kids can be a life savior. A sweatshirt or jacket is essential if the weather cools off or when night falls.
  • Hat and/or sunglasses: Both of these items will help protect your little one from sun exposure and keep them cool.
  • Blanket or towel: Having a blanket or towel can be great to sit on for a picnic or to watch a parade.
  • Spray bottle (with or without fan): This can be an optional item and is handy to cool off the skin. If you can’t carry a water bottle, try to locate some misters, a water park, or another water area for you and your little one to cool off in.
  • Earplugs or noise canceling headphones: Young children’s ears are sensitive to loud noise, especially fireworks, concerts, or large crowds. Having some headphones or earplugs with will help protect their ears and can help keep them calm if they are sensitive to loud noises. As earplugs could become a choking hazard, keep a close eye on your toddler. Also, follow the instructions on the earplugs packaging, as children’s ears are smaller and delicate. Check online for smaller or baby sized earplugs.

A long day in the sun can be a fun adventure for your family and yourself. To make sure that everyone has a safe day in the sun, keep a look out for signs dehydration, heat exposure, heatstroke, and sunburns.

Dehydration:

Signs of Dehydration included:

Dry mouth, Headache, Fatigued, Dizziness, and Decreased urination – 3 hours without a wet diaper toddlers and up to eight hours for older children, teens, or adults

 

After a long day in the sun, it is important to rehydrate. I like to drink extra water (after I get home) even if I had been consuming it throughout the day. If you feel like your anyone in your family needs a little extra help with hydration you can give them an electrolyte based drink. I tend to like juice based ones like Recharge (avoid if you have stomach issues such as diarrhea as this could agitate it). Check out our Food Poisoning Blog for tips on selecting electrolyte drinks for toddlers.

Heat Exhaustion:

Heat Exhaustion is the body’s response to dehydration, excesses loss of water and salt from sweating from many hours of exposure to the heat and sun exposure. Heat exhaustion kicks in when the body is no longer able to cool the body down by sweating. Children under the age of 4 years old are especially prone to heat exhaustion due their bodies take long to adapt to the heat and adjust.

Much like dehydration, the symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, nausea, headaches, paleness, fainting, and tiredness.

Sometimes heat exhaustion and heat stroke are used interchangeable and it is important to know the difference. Heat stroke comes after heat exhaustion and the major difference is odd behavior, delusions, hallucinations, and even seizures or comas. If you think your child is showing signs of heat stroke call 911.

For treating heat exhaustion, discontinue any activity in the sun, move to a cooler location, drink lots of fluids, and use water to cool them down.

Sunburns:

Sunburns occur after being in the sun, unprotected (no hat, sunscreen, or protective clothing) for any length of time. For some (lucky) people, they can be in the sun for many hours without much protection and will not burn. Many of these people will even tan. I am, not one of those people. While most sunburns are not that bad and most people recover quickly, it is important to recognize the signs and provide treatment asap. This will help ease any discomfort for your toddler and anyone else!

Signs of Sunburn:

Pink or red skin, Skin that is warm to the touch, Pain or tenderness, Swelling, Blistering, Headache, Fever

and Fatigue.

Treatment of Sunburn:

  • Take an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen.  Always, follow the directions on the medicine, including any baby ibuprofen.
  • Taking a cool bath or shower, or apply a wet washcloth to the sunburn.
  • Aloe Vera applied topically will help decrease the pain, swelling, and will help promote healing. After-sun lotion can be good for sunburns, however, avoid regular lotion (till sunburn fades) as this will trap in the heat and prolong the sunburn.
  • Drink LOTS of water! Sunburns can cause dehydration and extra water will aid the body in recovering.
  • If blisters form, avoid the temptation to pop them. Popping the blisters prematurely can cause infection and additional pain.  Most blisters will go away after a few days.
  • Always check with a doctor to determine the severity of the sunburn. 

The 4th of July can be a celebration for the whole family. It may take a little time to get everything together and it will ensure that that the day is safe and fun.

What is your favorite 4th of July memory? What do you do to celebrate the 4th?

Red, White, and Blue!

Heidi 

Printable list of 4th of July Checklist

This blog is not sponsored. All products were purchased by Beansters Bytes LLC. All opinions are our own. We are not medical professionals; this blog is for entertainment purposes only.

 

 

I am a Nutritionist and Blogger who is not known for her plating of food or photo skills. I love to empower people to live the busy lives they have created, while being healthy, happy, and hopefully at their best every day.
Posted in 4th of July, Tips & Tricks and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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