Insights > Stats and Facts to Help Keep Your Fourth of July Safe
Stats and Facts to Help Keep Your Fourth of July Safe
By Steven Oubre
Each year, U.S. hospitals treat over 10,000 injuries that are related to fireworks. 68% of these reported injuries are during the Fourth of July weekend. So what can you do to keep this weekend injury-free? Here are some safety tips to get you through the holiday weekend.
Keep fireworks out of reach of children and young adults
The Facts: 31% of the estimated fireworks-related injuries came from children 15 years of age or younger. Adults aged 20-24 had the highest rate of firework-related injuries at five injuries per 100,000 people. Be sure to watch those hands when you are lighting fireworks. A third of firework-related injuries are to the hands and fingers.
Safety Tips: To avoid firework injuries, according to the National Safety Council, be sure to check if and what fireworks are legal in your area before buying them. Never allow young children to play or ignite fireworks. Always have adult supervision. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Never try to re-light or pick up dud fireworks. Keep a bucket of water handy in case a mishap happens. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back slowly. Do not shoot fireworks at people.
Whatever floats your boat
The Facts: According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind car crashes. Nonfatal drowning injuries can result in serious, long-term brain damage. Males own 80% of drowning fatalities and children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rate.
Safety Tips: Before releasing your boat off the ramp, be sure to keep in mind a few safety tips provided by the American Red Cross for on the water activities. Never consume alcohol while driving a boat. Check that the boat is properly equipped with enough life preservers on hand and wear them when out on the water. Swim only in areas you are comfortable and skilled enough to swim in, and bring a buddy so you do not have to swim alone. Protect your skin by limiting your time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and always use sunscreen. Stay hydrated, drinking plenty of water before your outdoor activities and replenish throughout the day.
Save lives on the road
The Facts: The National Safety Council estimates over 450 people may be killed and an additional 53,600 may be seriously injured in motor vehicle crashes during the Fourth of July weekend. Since 2010, more than 37 percent of fatal crashes during the Fourth of July holiday have involved alcohol.
Safety Tips: Do not operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated and designate a driver for the weekend. Avoid driving tired or late at night. Avoid using your cell phone. Make sure all passengers are buckled up and not distracting the driver. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 181 lives could be saved this holiday weekend by wearing your seatbelt.
Grill and chill
The Facts: According to the NFPA, five out of six grills involved in home fires were fueled by gas while 13% used charcoal or other solid fuel. More than 16,000 patients went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills with over half of those injuries were thermal burns.
Safety Tips: Most of these causes are due to dirty grills, having the grill too close to flammable objects, or leaving the grill unattended. Check your grill’s hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Check to make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing. Make sure your grill is set up flat and upright. Never store flammable liquids near the grill or indoors, and keep gas-filled containers out of hot cars or trunks.
Steven Oubre is an intern with the corporate communications team based at the Entergy Corporate headquarters. He recently received his Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing & Communications from Ole Miss. He also has a Bachelor of Science in Sport Administration from LSU.