Fourth of July offers fun, but plenty of risks

Picnics, family reunions and BBQs are great ways to celebrate July 4, but the holiday carries the label of the most dangerous of the year, according to the National Safety Council.

Additionally, celebrations in big cities like Washington, D.C. strike fear into many tourists and residents in the wake of such high-profile terrorism incidents like the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013. The National Park Service on Fourth of July at the National Mall increased security screenings before allowing visitors inside.

“I haven’t felt as safe at big events like the celebration on the Mall recently as I have in the past considering what’s been happening worldwide,” said Katie Lenz, 24.

Even with what some see as a threat at major events like the National Mall Fourth of July celebration, fireworks and drunk driving over the holiday weekend are major threats, according National Safety Council.

In 2015, the National Safety Council estimated 409 traffic-related deaths and over 49,000 traffic-related injuries requiring medical attention over the holiday weekend.

The National Safety Council recommends drivers buckle up, reduce speed, refrain from cell phone use, keep small children in the back seat and avoid driving after drinking.

“During the 4th of July, I try to stay off the roads because I know how many accidents are gonna happen that night,” said Marisa Calderon, a 35-year-old mother of two.

Driving isn’t the only risk.

Over the July Fourth holiday, an average of 230 people every day will visit emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Almost one third of those injuries are to hands and fingers, but the Commission reported serious burns and eye injuries also happen.