By Eric L. Zielinski
Most people probably have a favorite holiday, yet who doesn’t hold a special place in their heart for the Fourth of July?
- Picnics and BBQ!
- Watermelon and ice cream!
- Swimming, boating, and tossing the baseball around with friends!
- The purpose – we’re celebrating our freedom, folks!
Truth is, next to eating an Oscar Meyer weiner at a ball game, there’s nothing more American than doing it up BIG for the Fourth of July!
Unfortunately, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Literally.
The National Safety Council (NSC) has announced that the Forth of July is the “Most Dangerous Holiday of the Year” and we should all take precaution that we don’t become a statistic this year.
Primarily, because of the deadly combo of alcohol, driving and fireworks. The NSC estimates that more than 200 traffic fatalities and 10,000 nonfatal traffic injuries will take place this holiday weekend. Another deadly mix is kids and fireworks. Nearly half of the ER visits for firework-related injuries each year happen with children 15 years old and younger.
To make matters worse, the inherent risk of being part of large crowds, food-related hazards, and some of Mother Nature’s more hidden dangers adds insult to injury to an already hurting Holiday weekend.
How To Survive This Holiday Injury-Free
To help you enjoy worry-free Holiday weekend make sure to heed this advice.
- It’s simple: Drink responsibly and don’t drive under the influence.
- Let common sense be your guide.
- Stay clear of people who are yelling and obviously drunk. You don’t want you or your children accidently hurt if a fight breaks out.
- Have a firm grip of where your wallet, keys and kids are at all times.
- If your kids are runners, put them on leashes! Those teddy bear backpack leashes are adorable and will make sure they don’t get out of your site.
According to the NSC, the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them set off by professionals at a public display conducted by professionals. However, if fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to use them:
- Never permit younger children to play with fireworks.
- Only allow older children to use them under close supervision.
- Do not allow any running or horseplay while fireworks are being used.
- Light fireworks outdoors away from people, houses and flammable materials.
- No rapid firing – light one device at a time.
- Follow instructions and never ignite devices in a container.
- No redos – do not re-light or handle fireworks that didn’t go off the first time around.
- Soak malfunctioning devices with water and throw them away safely.
- Make sure you have a large bucket of water nearby just in case.
- Have a phone nearby to call 911 should any accidents happen.
- Even though your teens may not think that they’re “cool,” everyone in a boat, waterski, or canoe wears a life vest. Period.
- Not only can bug bites and bee stings hurt, they can be deadly. Stay clear of deep woods unless you’re well protected with long sleeves and pants.
- If you or your kids are allergic to these nasty critters, be sure you have an Epipen or prescription medications handy in the cooler.
- Schedule sunscreen alerts on your phone. You’ll probably forget to put in on ever few hours and you’ll welcome the reminder to help keep a nasty sunburn at bay.
- Nothing spoils a good picnic like spoiled food!
- Keep your cooler out of the sun and load it with plenty of ice.
- When you get the munchies at the end of the day, better to be safe than sorry. If the potato salad has been out all day, toss it and grab some chips instead!