While fireworks are the leading cause of injury during the 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 occurring in the 30 days surrounding the 4th of July. Injuries include eye damage, vision loss, fingers and arms loss, and sometimes death. Protect yourself by reviewing the following safety articles on fireworks.
    1. Fireworks Eye Safety Tips
    2. National Council on Fireworks Safety
    3. What Consumers Need to Know Before Buying Fireworks
    4. Recommended Safety Tips
  2. Sun Exposure: From dehydration to sunburn to eye damage, the sun can have severe consequences when not respected. During the summer months, we spend more time in the sun. Take a few moments to browse the sun safety tips below. The sun’s effects are sneaky and can have a severe, long-term impact.
    1. Sun Safety: What to Do Before, During, and After Exposure
    2. The Bare Facts
    3. Sun Safety Alliance.
  3. Swimming: Whether in the pool or beach, stay aware of the dangers of being in and around water. This holds especially true when enjoying the day with children and 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 essential 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. Unfortunately, this activity can become so commonplace that it’s easy to forget its dangers, 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: The 4th of July and most summertime activities have one thing in common: they usually involve children. Consider that 40% of the people who sustain a fireworks injury are under 15. Also, overexposure to the sun in childhood is a significant risk factor for developing skin cancer later in life. So with whatever activity takes place, be sure to make sure children are safe and adequately protected.

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