The Fourth of July is a celebration of our nation’s birthday and the freedoms of summer. And we want you to enjoy living in the moment of BBQs, pool parties, and fireworks without any worry. So, we’ve rounded up five ways you can safely preserve your Independence Day traditions and make lasting memories for years to come.
Keep Fireworks Fun. Fireworks are the highlight of July 4th celebrations, but they also can be dangerous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that 200 people on average wind up in the ER on a daily basis with fireworks-related injuries around the holiday. Ouch! To make sure your day ends with a (positive) bang, check that fireworks are legal in your community. If so, always have adults oversee at-home fireworks festivities while children enjoy them from a safe distance. The person igniting the fireworks should light one at a time, back away quickly, and never return to relight a dud. Although your little ones may want in on this sparkling action, consider skipping sparklers in favor of a fire-free DIY. The real things burn at 2000 degrees (hot enough to melt some metals and severely hurt skin). So, it’s important to keep a bucket of water and hose handy. Or reduce the risk of injuries and make the more eco-friendly choice (there’s less waste) by attending public fireworks shows.
Be Pet Friendly. Our four-legged friends might not love a good crowd or fireworks show as much as we do, so keep them safe from the loud noise by giving them a comfortable space in an escape-proof room of your home. This keeps them out of harms way by limiting their exposure to at-home fireworks that can cause burns to their paws/face or pose a danger if ingested due to the possibility of containing toxic substances.
Bike Safe. Fourth of July parades are a big deal, especially in the kiddos’ world. Who doesn’t love decorating their bike with red, white, and blue flair? Ensure that your children can show off their patriotic rides by having them wear their helmets to protect against accidents (caregivers should sport them, too). Look to make sure the helmets meet the CPSC safety standard.
Make sure the day goes swimmingly. Beach days and pool parties are a great way to cool down on July 4th. The American Red Cross’s water safety recommendations and Mother Nature Network’s “The Seriously Surprising Signs of Drowning” provide a good swimming refresher before jumping in. Check them out so you can enjoy fun in the sun.
Food Worth Eating. Picnic or BBQ plans? With all the excitement of the day, don’t rush to prepare your food. Follow Christopher Gavigan’s grilling tips, the Founding Fathers’ 4 Steps to Food Safety (USA.gov), and the USDA’s guidelines for keeping food safe in warmer temps. Eat from reusable or biodegradable dishes and utensils to reduce the impact of disposables on the planet, too!
Looking for additional summer safety tips? Check out:
Are there any other Independence Day safety tips you’d add to this list? Please share in the comments below.
Preparing for July 4th festivities and barbecues? Then summer salads, grilled veggies, and sweet fruits are likely on your menu. To simplify your grocery lists and help make the most of your famers’ market visits, check out our tips for selecting some of the most popular summer produce. Enjoy and share your tricks for finding the tastiest foods at the best value in the comments below, too!
Bell Peppers. Farm-fresh bell peppers in a rainbow of colors (orange, red, yellow, and green) are low in calories and high in vitamin C. They’re equally great served raw on a crudité plate or brushed with olive oil and cooked on the grill. Or toss them in your fave summer salad. Shop for bell peppers that are firm, feel heavy for their size, and don’t show any blemishes or bruises on the skin.
Corn. Summer wouldn’t be complete without fresh corn on the cob. The yellow and sweeter white versions are a staple at any barbecue and are best prepared boiled or on the grill. If you’re not in the mood for a warm side dish, consider slicing the kernels from the cob to make a cold corn and black bean salad. Buy corn with plump kernels and bright green husks for the most robust flavor.
Cherries. Stone fruits are the stars of summer, especially the classic cherry which is a good source of potassium. Whether you prefer sweet or sour varieties, both can be enjoyed as a simple dessert (everyone loves sharing a bowl of cherries) or baked into famous pies. It’s best to buy cherries during their peak season in July—and make sure to buy them ripe with their stems attached.
Figs. These sweet and somewhat exotic fruits complement savory foods like prosciutto, goat cheese, and arugula. If you love desserts more than appetizers, figs also make a lovely topping on vanilla ice cream. Pick figs that have a little sap around the navel, are tender to the touch (but not squishy), and don’t have bruises on their skin. They’re a good source of dietary fiber, too.
Plums. Domestic varieties of this beloved stone fruit are best bought during the summer through early fall, and they come in enticing colors from purple to maroon to red, yellow, or bluish-black. Surprisingly, take home plums with dull-looking skin and that yield to gentle pressure. And you can use our Fruit + Veggie Wash to remove the hazy coating once you’re ready to eat them!
Tomatoes. Starting this month, tomatoes (high in vitamins A and C) can be found everywhere and are anything but bland. Try Heirloom tomatoes, which have a rich flavor that pairs well with salads, fruits like peaches and watermelon, and even burgers! Grab tomatoes (on or off the vine) that are firm, without blemishes, feel substantial, and have a pleasant aroma. Despite the rising temps outside, don’t store your tomatoes in the fridge because they will be robbed of flavor.
Watermelon. Alone, in a salad, as a smoothie…watermelon is a refreshing summer treat. Like a tomato, watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and lycopene. It also provides you with heart-healthy potassium and magnesium. Look for melons with crack- and bruise-free rinds and that feel heavy for their size (baby ones often stay fresh longer due to their thicker shells). If you’re purchasing a sliced watermelon, select one that has deep-colored flesh without white streaking.
And try to get organic produce when possible! The EWG’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce is a great source for identifying when it makes sense to buy organic versus conventional—and this includes bell peppers!
Spending any lazy days on the water this summer? Then look no further than this beautifully handcrafted canoe paddle made on the banks of the Mississippi River in Southern Minnesota. We love that each paddle has slight differences and patriotic stripes, making it unique.
Image by Fidelis Co.
Fluoride has been the key cavity-fighting ingredient (and the only one approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) used in toothpastes since the 1950s. So, why did we decide not to include fluoride in ours? Simply put, we listened to informed parents like you. Our Honest Toothpaste is fluoride-free for the ever-growing amount of consumers interested in that option. We also recognize that while there may be certain benefits to fluoride, there can be potential risks also.
According to Fluoride Action Network:
Just 1 gram of fluoride toothpaste (a full strip of paste on a regular-sized brush) is sufficient to cause acute fluoride toxicity in a two-year old child (e.g., nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea).
In 2009, U.S. poison control centers received over 25,000 calls related to excessive ingestion of fluoride toothpaste, with over 378 users requiring emergency room treatment.
Children who swallow fluoride toothpaste can reach fluoride levels in their blood that exceed the levels that have been found to inhibit insulin secretion and increase blood glucose in animals and humans.
40% of American teenagers show signs of fluoride over-exposure.
We believe there are some basic, better ways to protect our teeth — like consistent, daily oral hygiene practices (brushing and flossing), healthy nutrition, avoiding excess sugar, and regular teeth cleanings and checkups with your dentist.
Still, we also strongly encourage you to discuss this issue with your family dentist. If you’re prone to cavities, careful use of a toothpaste containing fluoride might be beneficial. Only you and your dentist can know for sure.
That said, Honest Toothpaste, available for both kids and adults, relies on calcium, baking soda, aloe, ginger, and other natural ingredients to safely help reduce plaque, brighten teeth, and promote healthy teeth and gums — for an honestly clean mouth and peace of mind!
We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below. And thank you for your continued support of The Honest Company!
The Fourth of July is about fun, festivities, and fireworks. It’s a time when magic is in the air! To maintain this holiday spirit, we created a flame-free version of everyone’s beloved sparklers that little ones (and adults) can enjoy without worry of unintended injuries and burns. And we promise this DIY is the perfect daytime activity to get your kids excited about the evening’s events — it will light up their eyes and your party!
Optional Decorative Items
Step 1. The Fringe
Creating the fringe is easy. Fold the construction paper in half. Using your scissors, cut into the paper along the open edge — about every ½ inch. Do not cut all the way to the fold; leave approximately 1 inch uncut. Repeat this step with the tin foil, being especially careful not to tear the foil.
Step 2. The Foil Sandwich
Stack your fringed paper so that the tin foil fringe is sandwiched between the construction paper fringe in the colors of your choice. This will help protect the delicate foil from tearing. Make sure your folded edges are lined up straight then dab a little glue between the foil and construction paper along the folded edge only. Let dry.
Step 3. The Roll
Add a line of glue along the uncut edge of the fringe. Place your wooden dowel at one edge of the paper and start rolling and wrapping the paper around the dowel. Keep the paper tight so that it adheres to the dowel. Optional: If you want to add a pipe cleaner to the mix, this is the time! Fold a pipe cleaner in half, place it on top of the glue, and roll it up with the fringe.
Step 4. Patriotic “Flare” & Fluff
Add a little “flare” with some festive ribbons or glitter. Using red, white, and blue electrical tape, wrap your wooden dowel for a more finished look.
Voila! You have kid-friendly sparklers (no worries about burns, but still just as much festive fun). Or you can put them in a mason jar like a fireworks bouquet and use as it as a centerpiece at your Fourth of July party!