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Last Modified: June 9, 2010
Last Reviewed: June 9, 2010
Content Source:
Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities (OMHD)


Highlights in Minority Health
& Health Disparities
Summer  2010

Have a Safe and Healthy Summer!
 

HAVE A SAFE & HEALTHY SUMMER!

Every year Americans look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the Fourth of July.  Summertime, however, also brings drownings, fires and injuries from fireworks and grills, and seasonal illnesses.1  Keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy as you head for summer! 2

EXAMPLES OF IMPORTANT HEALTH DISPARITIES
Water-Related Fatalities
Swimming and other water-related activities are excellent ways to get the physical activity needed for a healthy life, and millions of people enjoy oceans, lakes, rivers, pools, and spas each year.3   But in 2006, there were 3,579 fatal drownings in the United States, averaging 10 deaths per day. This does not include drownings in boating-related incidents.4
  red arrow

In 2007, American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) had an age-adjusted drowning death rate of 2.2 per 100,000, 1.7 times higher than the rate for non-Hispanic whites (1.3 per 100,000).5

  red arrow AI/AN males were especially at risk for drowning in 2007, with an age-adjusted death rate of 3.4 per 100,000, compared to 2.1 per 100,000 for non-Hispanic white males.5
  red arrow In 2007, African American children ages 5 to 19 years were 2 times more likely to drown as non-Hispanic white children in the same age group (African Americans: 1.6 per 100,000 vs. whites: 0.8 per 100,000).5
  red arrow In 2007, males of all races were 3 times more likely to drown than were females, with an age-adjusted drowning death rate of 2.1 per 100,000 (compared to females: 0.7 per 100,000).5
  red arrow In 2007, children 0-4 years were 2 times more likely to drown than those ages 5 and higher (0-4 years: 2.6; 5+ years: 1.3).5  As of 2006, Fatal drowning remained the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years.4

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Fireworks-Related Injuries
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that about 7,000 people were treated in emergency rooms in 2008 for injuries associated with fireworks. Most injuries involved the hands and fingers, eyes, and legs.6  From June 20 - July 20 2008, there were an estimated 900 injuries associated with firecrackers, 800 injuries associated with sparklers and 300 with bottle rockets. More than half of the injuries were burns.6

The U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA) National Fire Data Center estimates that improper use of fireworks caused more than 23,000 fires and cost more than $35 million in damage in 2002.7  

  red arrow 70% of fireworks-related injuries in 2008 occurred between June 20 and July 20 (5,000).  Men were disproportionately affected, sustaining 62% of all fireworks injuries during this time period.6
  red arrow Children are also disproportionably affected; Children & young adults under 20 sustained 58% of  all fireworks injuries from June 20 - July 20, 2008;  40% of persons injured from fireworks  during that time period were children under the age of 15.6

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WHAT YOU CAN DO
Water Safety Tips
To help prevent water-related injuries: 4
  red arrow SUPERVISION. Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide “touch supervision”, be close enough to reach the child at all times.  Adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children.
  red arrow Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards whenever possible.
  red arrow Avoid Alcohol before or during swimming, boating, waterskiing or while supervising children.
  red arrow Learn to Swim.
  red arrow Learn CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
  red arrow Do not use air-filled or foam toys in place of life jackets/personal floatation devices (PDFs). 4

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Fireworks Safety Tips
The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks. If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area. 1
  red arrow Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
  red arrow Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
  red arrow Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
  red arrow Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a devise does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
  red arrow Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If a devise is not marked with the contents, direction and a warning label, do not light it.
  red arrow Supervise children around fireworks at all times. 1

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FOR MORE INFORMATION
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
 

CDC Features

  blue sphere Stay Safe on the Water: National Safe Boating Week
  blue sphere Health and Safety Tips for Summer Camp
  blue sphere Avoiding Germs in Swimming Pools
  blue sphere Recreational Water Illness (RWIs) Prevention Week
 

CDC Podcast

  blue sphere

Staying Safe in the Water

  Healthy Water
  Swim Healthy, Swim Safely
  Unintentional Drowning: Fact Sheet
  Healthy Swimming / Recreational Water Frequently Asked Questions
  Injuries from Fireworks
  Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide
  Men's Health: Men's Summer Health and Safety Tips
  Food Safety Office
  Food-Related Diseases
     

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

  blue sphere

Summer Fire Safety Tips

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

  blue sphere
 
CPSC Stops Hazardous Products At the Docks: Preventing Fireworks Injuries and Deaths
  blue sphere 2008 Fireworks Annual Report
  blue sphere
 
CPSC Warns: Summer Fun Brings More Emergency Room Visits

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

  blue sphere Summer Fun
  blue sphere Sun Safety: Save Your Skin!
www.Foodsafety.gov
National Fire Protection Association

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SOURCES

1. U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), Summer Fire Safety
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Swim Healthy, Swim Safely
3. Healthy Swimming / Recreational Water
4. CDC, Injury Prevention and Control, Home & Recreational Safety; Unintentional Drowning: Fact Sheet
5. CDC, NCIPC, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports, 2007 (All intents, Drowning, US, 2007, All Races, Standard Output, 2000 Standard Year, Year and Race Output Groups)
6. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2008 Fireworks Annual Report: Fireworks-Related Deaths, Emergency Department-Treated Injuries,  and Enforcement Activities During 2008, June 2009
7. U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), Topical Fire Research Series: The Dangers of Firework, Vol 5, Issue 4, June, 2005, p5

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