While fireworks exist as the main cause of injury during 4th of July festivities, other activities such as grilling and enjoying the sunshine also have their fair share of safety concerns. The following list provides a quick resource for some of the most common safety issues not just when celebrating Independence Day but for the most typical summertime activities.

  1. Fireworks “” The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported about 9,000 fireworks injuries in 2009 with 2/3 of those taking place in the 30 days surrounding the 4th of July. Injuries include eye damage and vision loss, loss of fingers and arms and sometimes death. Knowing some basic “Fireworks Eye Safety Tips“ as well as what the National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends on fireworks-related topics such as “What Consumers Need to Know Before Buying Fireworks“ and “Recommended Safety Tips“ can make all the difference for helping prevent these and other types of injuries.
  2. Sun Exposure “” From dehydration to sunburn to eye damage, the sun can bring some pretty severe consequences when not respected. Since holidays like the 4th of July and pretty much summer in general mean more time in the sun, learn to enjoy that time by becoming aware of “Sun Safety: What to Do Before, During and After Exposure“ as well as “The Bare Facts“ from the Sun Safety Alliance. You may still be tired after a long day in the sun, but at least you won’t be suffering from sun damage that can have severe, long-term impact.
  3. Swimming “” Whether in the pool or at the beach, stay aware of the dangers that come with being in and around water. This holds especially true when enjoying the day with children and when swimming in breaking waves that may have rip currents. The American Red Cross provides terrific information to help you stay safe around water, and it’s important to revive your awareness of what can turn a day at the pool or beach into a huge regret.
  4. Grilling “” Probably as popular as fireworks on the 4th of July is grilling out with friends and family. This activity can become so commonplace that it’s easy to forget the dangers it presents from house fires to smoke inhalation to clothing fires. Know “How to Have a Safe Grilling Season“ to make sure you get to enjoy your good eats rather than spend time cleaning up after a fire or in the emergency room.
  5. Children “” In addition to being common 4th of July and summertime activities, all of the above hold another factor in common”¦ they usually involve children. Consider that of those sustaining a fireworks-related injury, about 40% are under the age of 15. Also, overexposure to the sun in childhood is an important risk factor for developing skin cancer. With whatever activity takes place, be sure to make sure children are safe and properly protected.

Take a few minutes before the holiday weekend begins to brush up on some of theses main safety concerns on the minds our emergency professionals this time of year. Just a little bit of awareness can help keep their concerns from becoming your reality.