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When it comes to holiday excitement, not even New Years Eve can compare to the Fourth of July. With the promise of fireworks, grilling, countless outdoor activities and shenanigans to be had, it’s no wonder both children and adults look forward to celebrating.
Let’s be honest: The same things that make the Fourth so enjoyable—the bottle rockets, water activities and merriment, for example—are also what make it potentially dangerous. In fact, data shows that injury-related visits to hospital emergency rooms surge on both July 4th and 5th and average about 91,000 people in total, representing the highest daily numbers of the entire year.
There are several ways to mitigate the risks of the holiday, which we will detail in this article. However, responsible behavior isn’t always enough to keep you out of harm’s way when the people around you act negligently. Luckily, we’re here to advocate on your behalf when you’ve been injured by someone else’s reckless actions.
Are you struggling to make ends meet after a serious accident? You may be eligible to pursue compensation through a California auto accident lawsuit. Call our law office at (949) 409-0055 to explore your legal options today.
10 Tips for Avoiding Fourth of July Hazards
There’s a reason that so many injuries occur over the Fourth of July holiday: Almost every much-awaited celebratory activity is potentially dangerous, and the high prevalence of inebriation doesn’t help. However, by following these tips, you can significantly mitigate your risk for injury.
- Opt for a public fireworks display. We get it: It’s super fun to set off your own fireworks. However, it’s important to understand that a huge portion of July 4th injuries happen at personal fireworks displays. If you can live without lighting the fuse, you’ll have a safer time (and a better view) at a public event managed by professionals.
- Handle personal fireworks with caution. If you do plan on creating your own fireworks show, it’s critical to educate yourself on fireworks safety. For example, you should never try to relight a dud or to tamper with or customize fireworks. Additionally, it’s important to establish a designated launchpad on a smooth, flat surface that is sufficiently far from onlookers.
- Consume alcohol responsibly. Having a beer while grilling or preparing a holiday cocktail for guests is a part of the festivities for many people. If you’re partaking in alcohol this Fourth of July, try to avoid overindulgence, overserving to others and operating vehicles, fireworks and potentially dangerous items when drinking.
- Be mindful of heat and hydration. Any time you’re spending hours out in the sun during the middle of summer, you’re at risk for heat illness, heat stroke and dehydration. Remembering to take indoor breaks, wear sun protection and drink plenty of water can help you avoid heat-related injuries.
- Swim sober and supervised. If you’re heading out on the water this Fourth of July, make sure to understand the hazards of the body of water you’re visiting and only swim in designated locations. Exercise extreme caution when alcohol is involved, and if you’re bringing the kids, make sure they are always diligently supervised by a sober adult.
- Practice safe grilling habits. If you’re operating a charcoal or propane grill this Fourth of July, make sure you’ve read through all of the safety instructions and understand how to avoid burn injuries. If your celebration includes children, make sure to keep them away from the cooking area.
- Avoid travel if possible. Most people don’t realize that the Fourth of July is the most hazardous day to be out on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), the July 4th holiday is the deadliest time to drive—even more so than Thanksgiving and New Year’s weekends—which is why you should avoid travel when possible.
- Take steps to prevent food poisoning. Many Fourth of July meals involve picnics and barbecues. Although outdoor venues provide convenient locations for participating in other types of outdoor recreation, they also increase the risk of food poisoning. If you’re cooking or eating outside, make sure to properly cook, cover and cool foods when necessary.
- Prepare safety gear. If you’re going all out this holiday, make sure to set out a bucket of water, water hose and (preferably) fire extinguisher to put out any fires that occur. It’s also a good idea to use protective glasses if you’re setting off fireworks and any other safety gear that applies to your planned activities.
- Plan child supervision. Before the chaos ensues, make sure you have a plan for who will supervise the children attending your get-together and what their responsibilities will entail. This is especially important if kids will be swimming, using fireworks or engaging in any other potentially dangerous activities.
Fourth of July accidents happen frequently, but many are avoidable with adequate planning and responsible behavior. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can always avoid injury. If you suffered serious injuries in a Fourth of July accident caused by someone else, you deserve compensation for your damages. Our personal injury attorneys can help you find it.