Labor Day will be here before you know it, then there comes October with all the fun activities, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and so on. So many fun celebrations! While most people are grilling, camping, swimming and/or boating, and even celebrating with fireworks, it is important to remember to stay away from products that may injure you. In the midst of all the celebrations, it can be easy to forget how dangerous products like fireworks can be if not used properly. In addition, the use of some products, like fireworks, is illegal in many cases.
We want to help our community avoid a personal injury case, so we’ve made it easy for you to recognize products that may lead to injuries over the holidays. Additionally, we have recommendations on how to safely use those products and have an enjoyable holiday.
What Kinds of Products Cause Injuries During Major Holidays?
Good question. Any product can cause injury if not manufactured or handled properly, but some carry more inherent risks. These products include
- Inflatable water toys,
- Grills, and
Although these products pose risk of injury, we have some tips on how to enjoy them safely.
A tradition for most Americans, fireworks are a staple of Independence Day, New Year’s Eve, and wedding celebrations. Depending on where you live, consumer fireworks may be legal and accessible to you. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where 303 Legal is located, fireworks are illegal. The best way to avoid injury, and possible legal trouble, associated with fireworks is to opt out of creating your own fireworks show.
Instead, enjoy a professional fireworks display. These shows tend to have better fireworks than ones you can buy at a roadside shop, and many of them are free. Plus, you are able to stay away from products that may physically and legally injure you.
Inflatable Water Toys
Lots of people spend summer holidays and vacations by the water, whether it’s a pool, lake, river, or ocean. Being able to swim and go boating is a great way to beat the summer heat. However, inflatable water toys are products that may lead to injuries when trying to enjoy the water, especially for small children.
Inflatables can seriously harm children, especially
- Enclosed play areas,
- Intertubes on the lake, and
- Flotation devices not approved by the coast guard.
When purchasing an inflatable water toy, always check the age requirements for use and, if planning to rely on the device for safety flotation, make sure it has the proper certifications.
Additionally, always have an adult present and aware when children are playing with inflatable devices in the water. If the adult has to leave for any amount of time, it is best to tell the kids to take a break from swimming.
Other Water Safety Tips
While discussing inflatable water toys, it is a good idea to cover other water-related products.
If you are enjoying time on a boat and participating in water sports, be sure to constantly be aware of your surroundings. The boat driver should be completely sober and paying attention to other boats and people. You should know the rules for the specific place you are recreating, like
- When and where skiers can be in the water,
- Requirements for boat passengers to wear life vests, and
- How to pass other boats sharing the water with you.
Additionally, making sure individuals who are not strong swimmers have personal flotation devices is very important.
If you are tubing or spending time near a river, be sure that you’re comfortable with how fast the water is moving. In Australia, rivers are the number one location for unintentional fatal drownings. It is okay to find a new activity if you don’t feel safe getting into the water.
Barbequing is another great American pastime enjoyed on just about any holiday! And we’re not implying that it shouldn’t be! However, hot grills can cause injuries, especially with kids running around and grill masters enjoying adult beverages.
To avoid risk of injury when grilling out, be sure that the grill’s operator is sober. A person who has been drinking should never handle firestarting (this is a good note for our fireworks tip above, too).
When cooking, it is also a good time to have kids take a nap or play somewhere far away from the grill. Nothing ruins a holiday like a trip to the emergency room.
Finally, alcohol is another one of the products that may lead to injuries. Combining all of the products and activities listed before this with the impairment brought on by drinking alcohol can be a recipe for disaster.
To mitigate this risk, be smart when picking your drink of choice for the holiday. Hard liquor will affect you more and faster than beer, wine, or seltzer.
Furthermore, be sure to hydrate often, especially if you are spending time in the sun. Eating regularly can also help you avoid alcohol related injuries.
If you think a friend or family member has had too much to drink, step in to prevent them from hurting themselves or someone else. They will thank you in the morning.
Enjoy Happy and Safe Holidays
Knowing how to stay away from products that may injure you will ensure you have fun during any holiday. Whether it’s Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Easter, 4th of July, a wedding, or any other holidays, we hope you enjoy celebrating, but more so, we hope you do it safely and responsibly.