Independence Day is almost here! As you’re celebrating in the July sun with your family, friends and neighbors, follow these safety tips to avoid injury over the holiday weekend.

Play Carefully

Whether a backyard trampoline or playing baseball in the park, the holiday gathers groups of friends for play! It’s a great way to get exercise in, but unfortunately it can lead to injuries as people play games they haven’t played since last year. As you’re competing, don’t forget to watch where you’re going. Older children bouncing on a trampoline could land on smaller children, or someone could twist their ankle on the field. If your shoulder is sore from playing Ultimate Frisbee all morning, take a break to let it rest. While Ortho On Call is available for minor orthopedic injuries, it’s better to avoid the painful experience altogether.

Be Cautious with Sparklers and Fireworks

Sparklers and fireworks are some of the most anticipated parts of the holiday, but they can easily cause burns. Kids should only use sparklers under adult supervision, and water should be handy nearby. Only trained adults should set off fireworks. Follow all state and local laws about possession of and use of fireworks.

Follow Posted Pool Safety Rules

Follow posted pool safety rules, such as no diving in the shallow end and no running. It’s no fun breaking a bone and having to go to Ortho On Call when you could be celebrating! Make sure you either swim with a lifeguard present or with a responsible adult out of the water who can be alert for safety issues.

Think of the Heat

July in Virginia is often very hot! Avoid being outside in the hottest part of the day if you can, and drink plenty of water. Make sure kids are hydrating as well. When you’re outside, wear sunscreen and stay in the shade.

Eat Well

Independence Day is a great day for a cookout! Be cautious about your food temperature: meat should be cooked to a safe temperature (use a thermometer to check) and cold items shouldn’t be out in the sun all day. Enjoy your summertime holiday favorites!

Be Mindful of COVID-19

As you’re gathering, think of COVID-19 safety. Outdoor events are safer than indoor events. If you might be sick, please take a test. Follow CDC guidelines about quarantining and isolation to help make sure everyone stays healthy.