SOS Wishes you a Spectacularly Safe Fourth of July Holiday

4th of July Fireworks

The Fourth of July is a time for celebration across the United States, marked by parades, barbecues, and, most notably, fireworks. While these festivities bring joy and excitement, they also pose significant risks for injuries if proper precautions are not taken. Understanding how to prevent common Fourth of July injuries can help ensure that the holiday remains both safe and enjoyable for everyone. The surgeons and medical providers at Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS) encourage people to enjoy Independence Day and all summer activities safely.

One of the primary sources of injuries on Fourth of July is fireworks. Even though they are beautiful to watch, fireworks are explosives and can cause severe burns, lacerations, and even blindness if not handled correctly. To minimize risks, it is crucial to follow all local laws and regulations regarding fireworks. Only purchase fireworks from licensed vendors, and never allow children to handle them. Adults should light fireworks one at a time and keep a safe distance after lighting. Additionally, having a bucket of water or a hose nearby is essential to extinguish any accidental fires promptly. If fireworks malfunction, do not attempt to relight them; instead, douse them with water and dispose of them safely.

Barbecues and outdoor cooking are other common sources of injuries during Fourth of July celebrations. Burns from grills can easily spoil the festivities. To prevent grilling accidents, always operate grills in open spaces away from structures, trees, and flammable materials. Never leave a lit grill unattended and use long-handled tools to keep a safe distance from the flames and never allow children to use the grill.

Water related activities such as swimming and boating are popular activities but come with their own set of risks. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death, particularly among children. To mitigate these risks, ensure that everyone knows how to swim and always supervise children near water. Life jackets should be worn by individuals of all ages when boating, regardless of swimming ability. Alcohol consumption should be monitored closely, as it can impair judgment and increase the likelihood of accidents both in and out of the water.

From playing in the pool, running around outside, or a minor accident, Fourth of July activities can lead to some orthopedic injuries, including sprained ankle, broken wrist or arm, broken toe, sprained knee, and broken foot. Other common injuries include cuts and wounds from playing on outside surfaces, and injuries from car accidents due to increased traffic flow.

By taking safety precautions seriously, you can help ensure that your Fourth of July celebrations are memorable for all the right reasons. Prioritizing safety not only protects you and your loved ones but also allows everyone to fully enjoy the joy and spirit of Independence Day.

Fast Facts About Fireworks

·         Emergency rooms in the United States treated approximately 15,600 firework-related injuries in 2020.

·         Firework injuries are on the rise! According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the number of injuries with fireworks increased 25% between 2006 and 2021.

·         In 2021, an estimated 11,500 Americans were injured, and at least nine died in firework-related accidents.

·         Hands and fingers accounted for about 31% of firework-related injuries in 2021, while an estimated 21% of injuries were to heads, faces, and ears, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

·         In the United States, fireworks cause approximately 19,500 fires each year – 28% of which are reported on the Fourth of July.

·         More injuries occurred in males than in females (59% vs. 41%).

·         The largest percentage of injuries took place in adults between ages 25 and 44 (32%). Children under age 15 were close behind at 29%. Young adults had the highest estimated rate of emergency room-treated injuries, followed by children ages 5 to 9.