A guide to a safe Independence Day with your teens
For many Americans, the Fourth of July is a favorite day of the year. Filled with American trademarks, this holiday is a highlight of the summer. The holiday gives us a chance to rest and remember the freedom we enjoy. And at parades and on lakes around the country, the spirit of this holiday is contagious.
But according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest days for drivers. This holiday averages 144 drunk driving-related car crashes every year. Teens make up 10% of the people killed.
But it doesn’t have to be the focus of your family’s Independence Day. If you plan a family BBQ or attend a local event, you can still make sure your teens stay safe and sober.
You can do this in several ways. One may be to plan activities that everyone in the family can do together, regardless of their age. You can also carefully decide your fireworks show plans to keep your kids safe.
To get you started, we put together some fun plans for your Independence Day celebration.
Bobbing for doughnuts
• Get a dozen doughnuts and string them up in a tree. The first person to eat the most doughnuts with their hands behind their back wins.
Extreme Slip ‘N Slide
• Lay a long tarp on a flat surface and use a hose to run water down it. Splash on some baby oil, get a running start and you have a homemade Slip ‘N Slide!
• Take a regular Twister mat and squirt paint onto each of the dots. The person who comes out of a game cleanest wins.
Flag paint wall
• Fill red, white and blue balloons with washable paint. Pin each balloon to a tarp or sheet of white butcher paper outside. Take turns throwing darts at the balloons and watch them explode. Keep your splatter painted artwork to hang for future Fourth of July celebrations.
Steal the bacon challenge
• Line everyone up for a game of steal the bacon. Count off teams alternating with ones and twos for each person and line teams up on opposite sides of the field. Layer bacon grease over a football and place it in the center of the field. Have a referee call numbers and see which team can get it to their side the most without getting tagged.
Saran wrap ball
• Layer prizes in a Saran wrap ball and have everyone sit in a circle. Give one person a set of dice and the person next to them the ball. The person with the ball gets to unwrap as much as they can and keeps the prizes they unravel. When doubles roll on the dice, pass the dice and ball to the next person on the right.
• One person hides and everyone playing searches for them. As each person finds the hiding player, they hide along with them. The game ends when the last searcher finds the group.
• If fireworks are legal in your community, it can be a fun family experience to set them off at home. Make certain they’re legal where you live and that the conditions are safe in your area.
• Remember that they don’t have to extravagant displays. Smoke bombs and sparklers are definite crowd pleasers!
Go in a group
• When you do go out to see fireworks, go with a group of people you know will be responsible. Have experienced drivers and allow extra time for traffic. It’s also a good idea to avoid late-night driving and stay in the right lane of traffic. Staying in the right lane can help you watch out for drivers who are speeding, swerving or driving the wrong way.
Avoid a late night
• If it’s very late at night, stay home and watch fireworks on television. See how many shows you can catch in the cities across the country before the nights over.