Enjoy a Safe and Sane Fourth

The summer season’s big holiday, the Fourth of July, soon will be upon us. Millions of Americans will be celebrating the holiday — which will be a long and extended five-day weekend for many of us — with friends and family in a multitude of ways.

Boating, beaching, mountain hiking, and summer getaways of all kinds are the traditional means by which Americans of all ages will take advantage of the summer weather and the observance of the founding of our nation.

Although we hope that our readers will enjoy their personal festivities to the fullest, we also trust that they will do so safely. Fireworks are illegal in this state and for good reason: life-changing injuries are all too common when fireworks become a part of our celebrations, especially around children.

However, the biggest risk factor of all still remains excessive alcohol consumption, regardless of where we may be imbibing. Drinking and boating are as incompatible as drinking and driving an automobile — nothing good can come out of either and all-too-often, a tragedy is the outcome.

Even swimming can be hazardous for those who drink too much. Risky behavior, such as diving into shallow water, is a recipe for death or paralysis when a person under the influence strikes their head or snaps their neck on a rock or a sandbar.

And make no mistake about it — tragedies such as these will occur by the thousands across America this holiday season. It is up to each of us to ensure that we look out not only for ourselves, but also for our family members and friends who are with us and under our care.

We wish all of our readers a happy — and safe & sane — Fourth of July.

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