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Keeping Your Family Safe on the Fourth of July


Every Fourth of July, hospital emergency rooms across the country treat thousands of people for drunk driving accident injuries, firework burns, boating crash injuries, and food-borne illnesses.

How can you keep your family safe this Fourth of July? Here are some tips provided by

Safe Driving: Drunk driving. Distracted driving. Drowsy driving. These are all preventable, yet they cause thousands of accidents every Fourth of July. In fact, July Fourth has consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous (if not THE most dangerous) days of the year on the road. While the number of people on the road factors into the equation — more than 30 million people will drive at least an hour away — most car accidents are preventable, caused by driver error.

Make the choice to stay safe this holiday by driving sober, putting down your cell phone and getting enough sleep before you get behind the wheel.

Firework Safety: An average of 200 people visit the emergency room with firework injuries during the month around the Fourth of July. If you plan to shoot off fireworks this Independence Day, consider these safety tips:

  • Do not allow children to ignite fireworks, and make sure that an adult supervises sparkler use (note: sparklers can reach 2,000 degrees!).
  • Back up immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • If your fireworks did not ignite, do not re-light them.
  • Keep a bucket of water in reach at all times while lighting fireworks.
  • Do not shoot fireworks off in glass or metal containers.
  • Carry fireworks away from your body.

Boating Safety: The Fourth of July weekend is also one of the deadliest times of the year for boaters. In fact, three major holidays account for one-third of all boating accidents and fatalities: July 4th, Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you are boating this Independence Day, wear your life jacket, don’t boat while drunk, ensure that your boat is working properly before hitting the water, pay attention to the weather forecast and watch out for other boats at all times.

Food-Borne Illnesses: It goes without saying that a dirty grill and uncooked meat can cause serious food-borne illnesses. Cook your food thoroughly this Fourth of July and follow the USDA’s seven food safety steps.

By taking the right safety precautions, we can all help reduce the Fourth of July accidents, injuries, and illnesses.

Source:, “Fourth of July Is Independence Day,” July 1, 2013