Independence Day: Family, Fun and Fireworks!

We’re headed into one of the most celebrated holidays in America, Independence Day! While this is an excellent weekend for fun and family time, we tend to put safety towards the bottom of our priority list. We’ll have more fun when there are fewer injuries!

 We’ll all be grilling and spend every second outside in the fresh, warm air, with our families. Grilling is a wonderful thing, not only is it delicious, but it’s cooking in the great outdoors!

Sparkler Just a couple quick grilling tips for the weekend:

1. Never leave a grill unattended once it’s lit and/or hot. Even though parents will be watching their children, it only takes a hot second for them to wander over and let their curious hands get the best of them. This could also cause a fire if it’s too close to a home, tree, or porch. So be cautious of where we keep our burning coals!

2. Never throw water on a grease fire. Water can make the fire bigger and hotter by feeding it. Use baking soda instead, to dry it up and dehydrate the flames.

This weekend is also a miracle because the holiday happens to fall on a Tuesday, giving most people a 4 day weekend. While everyone over the age of 21 is a responsible drinker, we want to be sure that we are still getting enough water to stay fully hydrated. Being outside for long periods of time, in the heat and sun, is enough to dry up a person on its own. When alcohol factors in, the possibilities for dehydration can become endless. You’ll want to be sure to drink plenty of H2O and watch for signs of a headache or dizziness. If you start to experience those, head for a glass of water and a shady place to rest up.

Alcohol can also impair judgment around bodies of water. While Michigan is fortunate for having so many lakes, we may get too comfortable around them. We need to be sure to be alert and watch the children especially. Even if a child is a wonderful swimmer, the one next to them might not be. Keep an eye out and make sure we’re appropriately prepped for a day at the beach. Lifejackets, umbrellas, and bright swimsuits will only do good things!

Fireworks are the highlight of this time of year! When using fireworks we’ll want to be sure to have good judgment and use caution. Here are some easy rules to follow and ensure a wonderful evening with family:

1.       Read and follow the directions on the fireworks carefully.

2.       Keep a large display site of at least 100 ft. by 100 ft. and be sure that there are no trees, buildings, or hydro lines in this area.

3.       Never light the fireworks while holding them!

4.       Be sure that it isn’t windy or rough weather of any kind.

5.       Always have water nearby in case of emergency.

6.       A good platform for lighting fireworks is a bucket filled with sand (unless the directions say otherwise). Fireworks should be buried half their length in the sand and angled 10           degrees away from the audience. Make sure no one is upwind from the display!

7.       Children should be monitored at all times during the firework show. They tend to be attracted to exciting things (such as fireworks) so keep an eye on them!

8.       When finished, soak the fireworks in water before throwing in the trash can. Failure to do so could start a fire and we don’t want that! Even if they look fine, soak them just to be     safe. 

9.       Wear eye protection when lighting the fireworks. Be sure NOT to wear loose fitting clothing. Scarves and other things that may dangle when lighting fireworks, are something     you’re going to want to remove those items prior to lighting anything (this includes long hair being pulled back, ladies! We do NOT want our hair on fire).



Lastly, if you’re looking for family fun and festivities this weekend, here’s a short list of places in the Grand Rapids area that include fireworks!Firework!

On July 1st the Amway Family Fireworks kicks off at 5 pm at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in Grand Rapids. This includes family activities, food trucks, vendors, and live bands. Fireworks will start at 10:30.

On July 3rd, Portland High School will have fireworks at dusk with a parade to follow the next morning and 10 am.

On July 4th, Crestwood Middle School (2674 44th St. in Kentwood), will host day-long festivities, 5K, parade, carnival rides, games, inflatables, and more. Fireworks are at dusk.

On July 4th. Ada Christian School (6206 Ada Drive) with have a daytime book sale and parade prior to the evening display of fireworks. Fireworks start at dusk.

On July 4th at 3535 Wilson Ave Southwest, there’s a 3-day celebration ending with fireworks outside the Grandville middle school. Fireworks will start at dusk.

On July 4th, Kollen Park & Heinz Waterfront Walkway (240 Kollen Park Drive, Holland) there will be music, food and games beginning at 2 pm. Fireworks will start at 10 pm.

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