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4th of July Safety

Congratulations 4th of July. You were named “Most Dangerous Holiday” by the National Safety Council. From about 5pm on July 3 to midnight on July 4, danger seems to set in. There are always an unfortunately high number of traffic fatalities and other debilitating injuries on the highways. Over half of these deaths involve intoxicated drivers and a large number include teens, who are driving after drinking. Boating accidents are also a major contributor. Last year, the Missouri Highway Patrol worked 263 traffic crashes, in which 142 people were arrested for driving while intoxicated. Troopers investigated 26 boating crashes and arrested 13 for boating while intoxicated.

Beyond auto and boating accidents, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission sees close to 10,000 fireworks related injuries during the holiday weekend. Kids between the ages of 10 and 14 are the most affected group and most of the injuries actually come from small firecrackers, sparklers and bottle rockets.

So how can you play it safe?

  1. Buckle Up. This should go without say however you’d be surprised that despite the scary statistics, many still choose to take the risk and drive without a seatbelt on.
  2. Designate a sober driver. If you are impaired, call a cab or a friend to get you home safely. (Maybe it’s time to download the Uber app and plan to ride home with Uber on the 4th?)
  3. Don’t allow others to drive under the influence – help them get home safely as well.
  4. For those of you with kids, do not let your teens drink and drive under any circumstance.
  5. Leave the fireworks to the pyrotechnic professionals. They know what they are doing, and the rest of us do not.
  6. If you insist on putting on your own fireworks, follow the guidelines from the National Council on Fireworks Safety.
  7. Don’t forget about Fido. The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association cites this holiday as a dangerous time for pets as well. Keep your pet away from the alcoholic drinks and the excessive buffet table. And, the loud fireworks can really scare our best friends, so keep your dog (or cat) safely inside during the sparkly show.