Independence Day is the great American holiday. But as you are out and about celebrating the nation’s 242nd birthday this July 4th, be mindful of your surroundings and watch out for potential safety hazards. You may not realize it, but the 4th of July is one of the busiest days of the year for hospital emergency departments throughout the Miami-Dade area. Here is a brief rundown on just some of the potential sources of injuries you need to watch out for while you are enjoying the summer weather with your family.
1. Motor Vehicle Accidents
For many of us, Independence Day is a three- or four-day weekend. This means taking an extended car-trip with the family to the beach or Disney World. But more cars on the road mean more accidents, not to mention more drunk-driving accidents as many drivers think they can have 1 or 2 (or 5 or 6) beers before they get behind the wheel “because it’s a holiday.”
It is against the law for consumers to use exploding fireworks for recreational purposes in the State of Florida. But aside from legality, fireworks are unquestionably dangerous. For example, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that during the 4th of July in 2016, a Florida man “suffered fatal injuries when the fireworks device he was lighting malfunctioned.” Overall, the CPSC said there are more than 11,000 fireworks-related accidents across the nation each year.
3. Barbecue Accidents
Although there’s no law against owning a backyard grill or barbecue, these devices can start home fires or cause thermal burns to individuals when operated or functioning improperly.
4. Swimming Accidents
It’s not just the highways that swell with activity on 4th of July. Swimming pools, water slides, the ocean, and other waterways are also bustling with people looking to cool down in the heat. This significantly increases the risk of a fatal drowning, particularly for small children.
5. Boating Accidents
While they do not get the same attention as car accidents, boating accidents are just as big a problem during the summer holiday season, again because of increased traffic and too many operators acting under the influence of alcohol. Indeed, just four years ago there was a horrific 4th of July boat collision here in Miami that killed four people and injured a dozen others.
6. Heat Strokes
Staying out of the water altogether can be just as dangerous, however, especially if you are engaged in long periods of physical activity while outside. Remember to always drink plenty of fluids. And by “fluids,” we mean water–consuming alcohol will actually lead to further dehydration.
Solar radiation is at its peak during July in Florida. This means if you sunbathe too long and without proper protection, you can easily develop a nasty sunburn injury–and potentially increase your risk for developing skin cancer in the long run.
8. Amusement Park Accidents
Florida is a major tourist attraction because of its many amusement and water parks. During the height of the season, patrons may sustain injuries on park rides or simply while traveling through the grounds. Water parks raise the additional risk of slip-and-fall and drowning accidents.
9. Deck and Balcony Collapses
Many people host or attend home parties for 4th of July. Overcrowding at these events can lead to death or serious injury, especially if the party is held on an unsafe balcony or deck that was not designed to handle the weight of dozens of people at one time.
10. Food Poisoning
Another often overlooked risk of outdoor Independence Day gatherings is food poisoning. Even food that is properly cooked on the barbecue can only be left out so long before it must be refrigerated. If you consume unsafe food, you may experience sudden fever and diarrhea, which in turn can lead to dehydration.
Get Help from a Dedicated Miami Personal Injury Attorney
Obviously, you should seek immediate medical attention if you suffer any of the injuries described above. And if your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, a qualified Miami personal injury lawyer can advise you of your legal options. Contact Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, at 305-371-2692 today to schedule a consultation.