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Drowning, fireworks, car crashes among leading causes of death during ‘trauma season’

The Annual 4th of July Fireworks show at North lake, Michigan.
Kathy Dorsey
Moment RF / Getty Images
Summer is the season for outdoor activities, but with fun comes risks. Connecticut officials are working to raise awareness of dangers for children this time of year. Child advocate Sarah Eagan is the state’s child welfare watchdog. She says drowning is the leading cause of death for kids 1 to 4.

Officials are cautioning Connecticut residents to exercise care while celebrating Independence Day to prevent accidents and injuries, which frequently coincide with the summer holiday.

Connecticut Child Advocate Sarah Eagan, the state’s child welfare watchdog, notes that drowning is the leading cause of death for kids ages 1 to 4.

“It can happen silently – it can also happen very quickly,” Eagan said at a pre-holiday press conference at Connecticut Children’s.

Eagan stresses that adults should keep vigilant around pools and bodies of water, and that those responsible for monitoring kids’ safety should do so while sober.

Fireworks are also a major concern, according to Kevin Borrup, executive director of Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center.

“Never allow children to handle fireworks, and keep children at a distance when you have those home fireworks displays,” Borrup said. “Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are more than twice as likely than other people to be injured by fireworks.”

Firework safety includes popular hand-held sparklers, which Borrup notes can reach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and melt metal.

“Each year, emergency departments around the country see 1,100 injuries due to sparklers,” Borrup said. “Always supervise the use of these items. They should be holding them out, they shouldn’t be running around, they shouldn’t be playing with them.”

Borrup said the safest way to partake in fireworks over the holiday season is to attend professional displays instead of lighting them at home.

Another leading cause of death and injury is motor vehicle crashes, and intoxicated drivers cause a large portion of those collisions. Connecticut State Police Sgt. Luke Davis says there will be stepped-up enforcement this holiday weekend.

“Troopers will be out in full force,” Davis said. “In addition to regular patrols, there will be troopers also on overtime for DUI enforcement seeking erratic operators. Please keep this in mind wherever your plans may take you. Have a designated driver, use a ride-share program, or just stay in place.”

Chris Polansky joined Connecticut Public in March 2023 as a general assignment and breaking news reporter based in Hartford. Previously, he’s worked at Utah Public Radio in Logan, Utah, as a general assignment reporter; Lehigh Valley Public Media in Bethlehem, Pa., as an anchor and producer for All Things Considered; and at Public Radio Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla., where he both reported and hosted Morning Edition.
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