It is that time of year — the birthday of our great country. This year marks 244 years since the United States fought for and earned independence from England. The yearly celebrations that we have all come to love will likely be much different this time around. With COVID-19 causing us all to social distance, mass gatherings in public spaces will be uncommon or non-existent. However, the celebration will, and must, go on. With celebration comes the potential for danger, especially when combining alcohol and fireworks. Below, we provide a few tips so that you, your family, and your friends may celebrate safely and responsibly.
Fireworks are notorious for causing injuries on July 4th. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the most common injuries are to hands and fingers (30%); legs (23%); head, face, and ears (16%); and, eyes (15%). To minimize the potential for these injuries, follow these safety tips:
- Never allow young children to play with fireworks.
- Keep a hose and water bucket nearby when using fireworks.
- Do not use fireworks inside your home (fire risk!)
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Just like we are socially distancing from others to reduce the spread of COVID-19, remember to immediately distance yourself from fireworks after they are lit to reduce your risk of injury.
Typically, July 4th is one of the deadliest days of the year for motorists, mostly due to drunk driving. While we are all hopeful that this year will be different due to restrictions on travel and social distancing, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others from tragedy, while maintaining a fun and joyous celebration.
- If you are going outside of your home to celebrate, party with a plan: have a designated driver or take a rideshare (Uber or Lyft).
- If you are hosting a party, make sure to monitor your guests to ensure nobody gets behind a wheel intoxicated.
- Pace your drinking.
- If you are going out on a boat, remember that drunk boating is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Boating under the influence (BUI) has similar penalties to Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Alcohol and fireworks are not a good combination. Make sure the person in charge is sober to reduce potential for injury. Consider limiting the alcohol consumption of your guests until after the fireworks display.
This is the time of year to celebrate freedom, friends, and family. COVID-19 does not need to ruin your holiday, but take precautions. Please behave safely when using fireworks and consuming alcohol. If you are gathering with others, be mindful of social distancing guidelines. From your extended family at Mase Mebane, P.A., have a safe and happy July 4th weekend!