Safety First Summer Celebrations & Fireworks

Fireworks Burns & Injuries

Summer celebrations in Wisconsin are in full swing including Summerfest, the upcoming 4th of July and dozens of other carnivals, festivals, events and parades.  Summers are short so family and friends frequently gather for weddings, baseball games and barbeque by the pool. Besides bug bites and sunburns, summer celebrations pose less-obvious dangers that could cause serious injury or death.  Instead of ending up in the emergency room; be aware of risky situations, and take precautionary safety measures to avoid injuries.

Fireworks can be unpredictable. The majority of firework accidents happen before, on, or right after the 4th of July.  According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, there were an average of 7.1 firework related deaths per year between 2001 and 2016. It’s not unusual to have more than 10,000 fireworks-related injuries each summer. Firework injuries often involve the hands, fingers, legs and arms. Typically, fireworks can cause burns but in severe accidents, one can lose body parts as well. Injuries to the head and eyes are also reported. It’s not just the big fireworks that cause the damage either; many emergency room visits involve injuries from sparklers and fountains.

Swimming Pools & Drowning Deaths

Wet areas around swimming pools can be a dangerous slip and trip hazard for anyone but it’s drowning that takes the cake as one of the top causes of unintentional death in the U.S. A sad 76% of drowning deaths involve children younger than 5 years old. A top cause of unintentional death in the United States is drowning; 76% of drowning deaths involving children younger than 5 years old.  It only takes 20-60 seconds for a child to submerge into the water. A shocking number, 19% of drowning deaths, happen in public pools where there is actually a lifeguard on duty. *A reminder that lifeguards are not babysitters. (AIR) 75% of drowning deaths involving children under 15 occurred at a private residence swimming pool. Parents must be extra cautious with young children around water. (CDC)

Barbecue Grill Injuries

The American Pyrotechnics Association notes that nearly 20,000 each year are reported injuries from BBQ grills.  It’s important to understand the safe usage and maintenance of grills.  Gas or propane grills are extremely flammable. Fires and explosions can cause burns to the face, body, and extremities. Injuries can range from burns and scars to disfigurement injuries and death.  Many folks don’t realize that charcoal grills give off carbon monoxide which can result in poisoning if the grill is burning in an area not well-ventilated. (CPSC)

Youth Sports Injury from Baseball

Children are frequently injured playing sports like football, bicycling, and baseball.  Beyond broken wrists and twisted ankles; baseball actually has the highest number of fatalities for children 5-14 years old. It’s not uncommon for practice games to be less focused on safety than real games. In either case; baseballs are thrown at a high velocity and rate of speed. If the ball strikes a head that is not covered by a helmet, it can lead to a fatal brain injury. More than 775,000 children end up in the ER every year from a sports related injury. (APA)

Safety Tips to Avoid ER Visit:

  • Light fireworks on a hard flat surface in a clear, open area not near a home or other buildings
  • Use Grill in a well ventilated area & never use gasoline to start charcoal fire
  • Follow manufacturer instructions closely; adhere to all safety recommendations
  • Children require close adult supervision during all summer celebrations; remember there is only a 20-60 second window to save a drowning child before submersion occurs
  • Have water, fire-extinguishers & first aid kits nearby
  • Wear safety equipment including helmets, gloves, seatbelts, and life-jackets
  • Drink responsibly; don’t get behind the wheel of a car or boat while intoxicated, or attempt to swim, launch fireworks or handle dangerous materials

Other Summer Activities that report serious injuries or death:

DISCLAIMER: Blogs and articles cover very basic accident and injury topics for education and awareness such as statistics, Wisconsin Laws, injury areas, compensation and injury victim rights. Information not intended for legal advice; consult with an attorney directly.