Many Americans look forward to the backyard barbecues, pool and beach parties, and breathtaking fireworks the Fourth of July weekend offers. But this all-American holiday can quickly take a turn when one of the revelers is rushed to the emergency room after a firework accident or is convicted of DUI. In fact, a National Safety Council press release named July the nation’s deadliest month and July Fourth the most dangerous U.S. holiday, all courtesy of the precarious combination of travel, alcohol, swimming, and fireworks.
So to make sure you safely make the most of this holiday, here are some tips and reminders to help you, your family and friends have fun while staying safe this Fourth of July weekend.
More people die in traffic accidents on July Fourth than any other date of the year – why? There are a number of contributing factors: more people on the road, longer average traveling distances, and holiday alcohol consumption. So to stay safe on the roads, be sure to …
- Refrain from using phones while driving.
- Wear a seatbelt, and make sure every passenger does, too. Every trip, every time.
- Have children sit in the backseat using the proper car or booster seat for their age, weight, and height.
- Never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle for any amount of time.
- Designate a non-drinking driver if you plan on consuming alcohol.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July is to watch a public fireworks show conducted by professionals. But if fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to use them, you can help to minimize the potential for injury by being sure to …
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks, and older children should only use fireworks under close adult supervision.
- Light fireworks one at a time, while outside away from onlookers, houses, and flammable materials.
- Never aim fireworks at anyone.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t ignite.
- Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning – or ‘dud’ – fireworks.
Over the hot holiday weekend, there is little better than a refreshing dip in a pool or at the beach. But according to the CDC, however, more than 3,500 people die in drowning accidents every year. So to prevent accidents – and save lives – be sure to …
- Provide constant, undistracted supervision.
- Have at least one adult that knows CPR.
- Never dive into water less than six feet deep.
- Stay out of the water for at least 30 minutes after hearing thunder or seeing lightning.
- Never drink and swim.
- Provide a life jacket for those who aren’t strong swimmers.
Unlike people, pets don’t associate the noise, flashes, and smell of pyrotechnics with celebrations and fun. In fact, animal shelters often report that the day after Fourth of July finds them packed with pets that panicked and fled, winding up lost, injured or killed. So to keep your pet safe this Fourth of July weekend, be sure to …
- Keep your pet indoors whenever possible.
- Never bring your pet to a fireworks show.
- Have your pet properly identified and microchipped in case of accidental escape.
- Keep your pet away from lighter fluid, matches, and citronella insect control products.
After a divorce where there are children to consider, holidays can be especially tricky when coordinating your child custody and transferring your kids between households (read more about how to navigate the holidays with kids after a divorce here). Communication is key, and with a little forethought and planning, you can make the transition smooth and easy when you remember to …
- Be willing to set aside ego and do what’s best for your children.
- Find the method of communication that works best for you and your ex.
- Treat custody as a business arrangement, devoid of emotions.
- Focus on the importance – and fun – of the holiday.
July Fourth should always be fun, and celebrating Independence Day safely can ensure that the holiday stays fun. But as could be expected, accidents often can – and will – happen. So if you or someone you know is injured or arrested this Fourth of July weekend, contact the experienced attorneys at Anton Castro Law who are dedicated to ‘Representing Your Best Interests.’