Fourth of July celebrations typically call to mind fun gatherings with food, friends, and family. But the Fourth of July is also a day that many Americans experience injuries. Here are some common injuries to avoid this summer holiday:
Injuries from Car Accidents
Believe it or not, car accidents cause more injuries than fireworks on the Fourth of July. In fact, Independence Day is considered the most dangerous driving day of the year for Americans. The National Safety Council estimates over 53,000 motor vehicle-related injuries for 2017. Don’t become a statistic: never drink and drive, wear a seatbelt, do not use a cell phone while you are driving, and avoid driving during high-traffic periods or after dark.
Face, eye, hand, and finger injuries are common results of improperly handling fireworks. You should always view fireworks from a distance of about 500 feet, and never touch or handle fireworks that have not fully ignited. A little-known fact: The most common fireworks-related injury on the Fourth of July is injuries from sparklers. Make sure to carefully supervise children who are playing with sparklers to avoid injury.
Swimming Injuries and Accidents
Independence Day is the perfect excuse to head to the beach or throw an outdoor pool party. Each year about 5,000 children aged 15 or younger go to the emergency room for swimming and near-drowning injuries. Be sure to supervise swimmers carefully, and remember that drinking and swimming is every bit as dangerous as drinking and driving. Exercise caution, establish pool rul , and make sure to outfit weak swimmers with a life vest.
Alcohol and Food Poisoning
Many accidents on the Fourth of July can be traced to poor decision-making under the influence of alcohol. Swimming, driving, and setting off fireworks become exponentially more dangerous if you are attempting these activities while intoxicated. Designate some friends to stay sober so that you can enjoy your Independence Day holiday safely. Know your limits and drink responsibly. You should also be sure to handle food safely – always check the inner temperature of your meats and don’t set food on surfaces where raw meat has been present.