DARKE COUNTY — The Fourth of July is just ahead, a time when people typically enjoy the summer holiday with backyard barbecues, fireworks or water fun. But this year, celebrating Independence Day will be different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The American Red Cross offers safety tips you can follow:
· Continue to social distance by staying 6 feet away from others, especially if you are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 (over age 65 or any age with underlying medical conditions).
· Continue to wear cloth face coverings in public. Face coverings are most essential when social distancing is difficult.
· Follow guidelines for your area when it comes to how large gatherings can be. Avoid crowds and mass gatherings.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
· Stay home if you are sick.
If you are looking for a special way to mark the holiday, the Red Cross is still collecting new, hand-made masks for use at the Dayton VA. If you are interested in making face coverings to support this effort, instructions can be found on the Centers for Disease Control website or at redcross.org.
“As we all understand, face coverings are going to be needed for a long period of time and this is just one small way that we can show a Veteran that we are thinking of them,” said Lynne Gump, Executive Director.
Please place completed face coverings in a sealed plastic bag, with a note indicating the number of coverings within the bag. The face coverings can be mailed via the U.S. Postal Service to any of the following Red Cross offices:
Miami Valley Ohio Red Cross, 370 W. First Street Dayton OH 45402
1314 Barnhart Rd., Troy OH 373
130 Martz St., Greenville OH 45331
Grilling fires spark more than 10,000 home fires on average each year in the U.S. To avoid this:
· Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
· Never grill indoors — not in the house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
· Make sure everyone, stays away from the grill, including children and pets.
· Keep the grill away from the house or anything that could catch fire.
· Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
Warmer weather means enjoying the water. Be “water smart,” have swimming skills and know how to help others. This includes home pools — where young children are most at risk of drowning — and open water, such as ponds, rivers and lakes — where people are more likely to drown than any other location. With less access to lifeguarded aquatic facilities this summer, some may consider open water environments that are not designated for swimming.
1. Talk to your children, including older youth and teenagers, about water safety. A variety of resources are available at redcross.org/watersafety and redcross.org/watersafetyforkids
2. If you choose to take your family to the water, make sure the area is designated for swimming and has lifeguards on duty. Once there, maintain social distancing, both in and out of the water, between you and people who don’t live with you.
3. Wear face coverings on land, especially when physical distancing is difficult. Do not wear them in the water as it may be difficult to breathe. Don’t share goggles, nose clips, snorkels or other personal items.
4. Designate a water watcher whose sole responsibility is to supervise people during any in-water activity until the next person takes over.
5. Kiddie or inflatable pools can be a great way to have fun. Drain the water from the pool and flip it over after swim time is over.