Celebrate safely this holiday weekend with these helpful tips

July 01, 2021

Emergency room doctors see all types of injuries this time of year.

RICHMOND, KY (July 1, 2021) - With COVID-19 restrictions lifted, many of us are counting on celebrating the Fourth of July with family and friends this weekend. Health officials have said that fully vaccinated people can resume activities they did before the pandemic.

For some of us that can mean a weekend of swimming and fireworks, a back-yard barbecue or outdoor sports.

Emergency room doctors see all types of injuries this time of year from outdoor activities, everything from burns to breaks and cuts.

“Summer is all about the outdoors,” said Paul Finley, DO, an ER physician affiliated with Baptist Health Richmond. “For a lot of people this means taking on activities they normally don’t do, like swimming, spending extended time outside in the heat, and especially this weekend — being around fireworks.”

According to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2020, most fireworks-related injuries (about 66 percent) occurred in the month surrounding the July 4th holiday (from June 21 to July 21).

But, with a little planning many summer mishaps can be avoided. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers these tips to celebrate safely this holiday weekend:

  • Fireworks can cause death and injury, including burns, cuts, bruises, and foreign objects in your eyes. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers.
  • Take care in summer heat. In hot temperatures your body may be unable to properly cool itself. This could lead to serious health problems. Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Planning a holiday picnic or barbecue? The summer months typically see a spike in foodborne illness. Don’t leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours – one hour if the outside temperature is over 90 degrees. Keep perishable food in an insulated cooler packed with ice or ice packs.
  • If your weekend includes time in a pool or the lake, designate a responsible adult to watch all children swimming or playing in or around water. Drowning occurs quickly and quietly, so adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity while supervising children. 

“Accidents and summer illnesses can happen to anyone, but taking precautions and following these important tips can go a long way to making this weekend a safe one,” said Dr. Finley.