This Fourth of July is a holiday that most grownup kids dream of — a four-day holiday in the middle of summer. Okay, so today isn’t officially a day off, but most folks are cutting out early … if they even showed up at all.
On the other hand, since the Independence Day celebration is going to last longer than usual, it’s important to extend your care for your children and critters when it comes to the sis-boom-bah. Here are some tips for a safe holiday:
- While firework sellers are suffering from short supplies, that doesn’t reduce the chances of an accident.
- The North Texas drought conditions are providing perfect tinder for grass fires and already three firemen had to be treated at Parkland this past week.
- Children are fascinated by sparklers. And who isn’t? But the little ones don’t realize that when the sparkle ends, the darkened stick is still hot stuff.
- With temperatures climbing back up to the upper 90s and above, outdoor activities are going to require sunscreen, mosquito repellent and lots and lots of hydrating. If you aren’t current on the signs of dehydration and how to handle it, check here before you need to know.
- Do not leave your kids, the elderly, the disabled or pets in cars. Within minutes, that vehicle easily turns into a microwave.
And speaking of pets, this four-day period is going to be daunting. The sounds and sights of the area firework displays may be mesmerizing to humans, but to animals it’s World War III. The Dallas Animal Services recommends the following:
- Ensure that your pets are easy to identify. Secure their collars and ID tags, make sure pets are microchipped and the information registered to their microchip is accurate. Microchipping is required for pets in Dallas and DAS offers $10 microchipping by appointment.
- Keep pets inside and away from doors. Fireworks can trigger your pets’ fight or flight instinct and cause them to flee in fear or charge the threat, risking severe burns. DAS recommends that you use a crate to contain your pet or prepare a quiet space in a room without windows. It’s also best to limit the number of people coming in and out of your home to prevent pets from slipping out the door.
- Leave your pets at home if you go somewhere to view fireworks. Even pets that enjoy outings are likely to be spooked by firework displays and could act unpredictably; they will be more comfortable and safer at home.
- Take the edge off. Offer toys like food-stuffed kongs or puzzle toys and provide background noise such as relaxing music or a calm television show to help drown out the noise outside.
- Watch what your pet puts in their mouths to ensure they don’t ingest something toxic. Independence Day festivities often include toxic foods and beverages like alcohol, garlic and onions or chemicals including pesticides and pool chemicals.
- Report any fireworks or gunfire by calling 3-1-1 immediately.
Have a safe holiday.