Outdoor parties are less dangerous than large groups in warm settings. Scientists’ counting showed that during these three holidays in the last five years, people were much more likely to be injured in an event at a bar than one at an open field or field or a field on a beach.
The long fall weekends on the calendar may draw more people outdoors but even revelers should take precautions.
And with Halloween approaching, experts say to make sure to take your safety precautions now.
“We tend to play around outside a lot when we’re with friends or family, and there’s so much freedom in the wide open spaces,” said Dr. Stephen P. Smith, chief of orthopedic trauma at the University of Pennsylvania Health System. “But for anyone participating in that, please think about it. Look around to make sure there are no people close by or maybe somebody coming from behind or somebody going toward you, so make sure you can see who you’re coming up against. We talk about ‘run, hide, fight,’ but the first rule is to run, because you don’t know where anybody is coming from.”
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, nearly 1.7 million injuries related to fireworks occurred in the U.S. in 2017. The highest number of injuries in 2017 occurred between October 1 and December 30, when 19 percent of the country’s fireworks-related injuries were reported.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Americans spend roughly $2.7 billion each year on fireworks, and 1,200 of the 3,000 explosions reported were associated with fire or electrical hazards. “There’s no ifs or buts about the fact that having fireworks at the party increases the risk of injuries,” Smith said.
For those seeking to stay as safe as possible, the College of Emergency Physicians recommends these seven simple tips:
Do not buy or fire any homemade or high-powered fireworks. Never use fireworks from somebody else’s display. Consider buying from a professional display company or by the National Fire Protection Association. Even as we enjoy sparkling displays from friends and neighbors, never shoot fireworks off at home. Credible fireworks should be labeled with professional maker’s information. Better still, never shoot fireworks from indoor sources, as accidents happen in home fireplaces and in the kitchen.
Drink water if you will drink alcohol, or if your guests will drink. Prohibited drinks include wine coolers, colas, root beer, ginger ale, Peperami, all sugary drinks, all fruit drinks, mixed drinks and concentrated lemonade. Food-serving minors can use alcohol at formal and informal parties, but keep alcohol out of reach in vehicles.
Don’t drink and drive. Never attempt to drive intoxicated.
If you are injured, seek immediate medical attention. Be especially careful of children. Emergency physicians say toddlers are especially prone to not hearing the difference between fireworks that are loud and fireworks that are not.
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