Did you know that the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays in the United States? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Around the holiday, sadly, we often see an increase in impaired driving crashes. From 2015 to 2019, there were 1,339 drivers killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the Fourth of July holiday period — 38% of the drivers killed were drunk.”
If you are going to be drinking over the holiday weekend, make sure you have a plan set up ahead of time to get a sober ride home! (A sober driver has not had anything to drink, so even if you have had one drink, have someone else drive you home.)
If you are hosting a Fourth of July party, provide alcohol free drinks for those who are driving, and never let an impaired friend drink and drive.
Alcohol is not the only thing to be cautious about during your Fourth of July Celebration! Fireworks are fun and exciting to watch, but also pose a safety risk. If not handled properly, they can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries.
To avoid a trip to the emergency room, follow these tips: Always obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks; Read all cautionary labels and directions before igniting; and never give fireworks, including sparklers, to children. Sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees, which is hot enough to melt gold. Don’t put your kids in that danger!
Be cautious of where you are setting off the fireworks. Always have a bucket of water and a hose nearby, and be sure to properly dispose of used fireworks by soaking them in water and placing them in a metal trashcan, away from any buildings or flammable materials until the next day.
When it comes to firework safety, don’t forget about your pets. Never bring your pets to a fireworks display and never shoot fireworks of any kind (including sparklers) near pets. If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound. Be sure that your pet has an ID tag on in case it runs off.
If you are going to be setting off fireworks, please be mindful of those who live around you who may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), like military service members and veterans. Fireworks can trigger a startle response in those who have PTSD, reminding them of a time they experienced trauma in their life. Unplanned and unscheduled fireworks typically cause the most distress, so please try to give notice before using fireworks, use them in a more secluded location, and avoid setting off fireworks late into the night, particularly when people are sleeping.
Tioga County Public Health wants everyone to have a fun and safe July 4th celebration! Don’t forget to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water this weekend. Protect your skin if you are out in the sun. If you are going to be swimming, make sure you have someone with you, and always have someone supervising children while they are in the water.
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