The fourth of July is right around the corner, which means fireworks, cookouts, boating and more.
But this joyous occasion can turn tragic if something goes wrong.
The weekend around the fourth of July is all about fun and colorful celebrations, but lots of injuries can also happen.
Studies show the five most common injuries are car crashes, fires, boating accidents, pool and firework injuries.
Wheeling Fire Chief Larry Helms advises people to always have a plan, especially concerning fireworks.
“Have a plan for extinguishing the remnants of the fireworks. Even when they’re handling sparklers and things like that, have a bucket standby to be able to put those sparklers into so the kids don’t get burned. Those wires stay very hot even after they go out,” said Chief Helms.
Officials say hand and feet burns are common injuries seen around the fourth because of inexperience or improper use, but accidents happen off land too.
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary member Steven Miro says drinking and driving is notorious on the water this time of year.
“The fourth of July weekend is pretty popular for boating and alcohol. Last year, 77-percent of the fatalities were alcohol related,” Miro said.
Intoxication can lead to slips, falling overboard, and much worse, so officials recommend to always wear a life jacket or have a designated driver.
“Make sure the person operating the fireworks or the boat are alcohol free, and you know, make good decisions and they’re not altered with the presence of alcohol,” said Miro.
Other tips to stay safe and avoid the emergency room include making sure your boat is properly maintained and ready for action, having a bucket nearby to fully extinguish used fireworks, following safety rules and always paying attention.
So whatever you have planned for the holiday, have fun and stay safe.