The Top Injuries Seen at Cook Children’s During the Fourth of July Weekend
When you think of the most common injuries around the Fourth of July, most of us immediately think of fireworks. But while many parents are overly cautious with their children around fireworks, statistics from Cook Children’s Trauma Department show other dangers are associated with the holiday weekend.
Over the past five years, the Cook Children’s Emergency Department has seen over 50 fall-related injuries and more than 20 drownings during the July Fourth weekend. Parties, lake trips and higher amounts of people on the road are often the sources of injuries in children around the Fourth of July. With more distraction comes more risk of accidents such as motor vehicle, ATV/golf carts and snake bites. Many of these injuries are preventable and can be avoided with proper safety equipment and watchful eyes of parents.
In 2018, there were five drownings associated with the July Fourth weekend alone. Children in or around water should be watched by a responsible adult using the mindset of a lifeguard.
“The lakes are jam-packed and people are celebrating and not always using their best judgment. Overloading of boats is a recurring theme, everyone in a boat should have a life jacket within hands reach if not on,” Dr. Warmink said. “Letting children swim or out on open water during the Fourth of July is inviting trouble. We’ve had multiple injuries and deaths from people struck by boats while in the water and on kayaks or jet skis.”
In comparison, over the past five years, Cook Children’s has only seen three burns related to fireworks during the holiday weekend. Still, these injuries can be harmful and painful to a child. Dr. Warmink warns parents to be attentive especially during down times when activities are finished. Many injuries and deaths are preventable but can happen to anyone in 30 seconds or less of distraction.
“Fireworks rarely cause death but we often do see serious burns and occasionally injuries that could cause loss of an eye, finger or hand,” Dr. Warmink said. “Every year we have at least one tragic story that ruins not just a family's holiday, but their entire life.”
Top Injuries Seen at Cook Children’s During July Fourth Weekend
|Drowning||4||7||3||4 (1 fatality)||5||23 (1 fatality)|
|Motor Vehicle Accidents||2||7||2||3||3||17|
Leave the fireworks to the professionals- Attend public fireworks shows. If you plan to use fireworks, make sure it is legal in your area.
Be cautious with sparklers- Sparklers can heat up to 1,200 degrees. Little arms are too short to hold sparklers at a safe distance. Closely supervise children at all times.
Be aware of your surroundings- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks. Be aware of dry grass near fireworks usage.
Be prepared for accidents - Have water or a fire extinguisher nearby. Stand several feet away from lit fireworks, and do not stand over fireworks that don’t ignite properly.
If a child is injured immediately go to your local doctor or hospital. Do not allow children to touch or rub eye injuries.