How to avoid an injury on the Fourth of July
With most public fireworks displays canceled in 2020 to the pandemic, everyone is looking forward to celebrating the Fourth of July more than usual in 2021. Unfortunately, this may mean even more fireworks accidents and injuries than usual. In 2019, there were approximately 10,000 fireworks injuries and at least 12 deaths according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Over 900 emergency-room-treated injuries were for sparklers and 400 for bottle rockets. The most common injuries were burns and the parts of the body most frequently injured were hands and fingers. Of those injured, 36% were children. The National Safety Council also notes that fireworks are responsible for an average of over 18,000 fires each year.
You can make sure that you and your family stay safe this Fourth by observing the following tips:
- The simplest way to stay safe is to leave the fireworks to someone else. Attend a public fireworks display put on by a municipality or other responsible organization.
- Avoid letting children handle sparklers, which burn at around 2,000 degrees (Source: NSC). Similarly, do not allow children to handle or light fireworks.
- Contrary to what all those neighbors setting off fireworks around you suggests, the sale and possession of fireworks is illegal in Illinois. Although they are dazzling, fireworks can be distressing to cats, dogs, and other pets, and are often traumatizing for military veterans with PTSD. We recommend refraining from using them yourself.
- Never mix drinking alcohol with handling fireworks. The fireworks could get soggy, your drink will taste terrible, and you might blow off your hand!
- Drive defensively, as the Fourth of July can be one of the worst days of the year for drunk driving car accidents.
In conclusion, let that patriotism fly but do so safely for your sake and that of your family. Happy Fourth of July!