Independence Day is one of the biggest picnic and party days of the year, as America gathers to celebrate patriotism and freedom. If you’re planning a family-friendly party where there will be tons of kids, safety should come first to ensure no one gets hurt. Nothing ruins a party more quickly than an injury, so be sure to take these safety tips into consideration when planning and partying this Fourth of July.

  • Keep fireworks, matches, lighter fluid and lighters out of reach of children. The chaos of a busy party will have a lot of parents distracted, and it only takes a second for an accident to happen.
  • Supervise kids playing with fireworks at all times. Kid-designed fireworks like sparklers, snakes and poppers are a lot of fun, but inappropriate play could lead to a dangerous situation. Make sure a responsible adult handles the lighter and instructs kids on how to handle the fireworks to avoid getting burned or hurting someone else.
  • Have a bucket of water on hand when setting off fireworks.
  • Soak used fireworks in water to guarantee they are no longer lit before you dispose of them.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors.
  • Don’t set off fireworks near dry grass or wooded areas.
  • Never try to relight a firework that didn’t work properly.
  • Avoid illegal fireworks, and make sure you get your legal fireworks from a reliable vendor.
  • Keep the grill lid closed when the fire is lit and food is cooking. Instruct children to stand back to ensure they don’t get scalded by splattering grease or popping charcoal.
  • If there is going to be alcohol at your gathering, put an adult in charge to keep kids away from the cooler or refrigerator.
  • Don’t let friends and family drink and drive. Consider having a camp-out or setting guests up in your home if there will be drinking. Drinking and driving is never acceptable, but unfortunately the risk of accidents is higher during holiday celebrations.
  • If you’re having a campfire, advise children not to play too close or run around near the fire.

Much of these simple rules seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised by the number of accidents and injuries that occur during Fourth of July celebrations. Ensure the safety of everyone you’re entertaining by establishing the rules up front and keeping a close eye on everything.

Taking precautions will keep everyone safe and having a good time, and that’s what holiday parties are all about.