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Fourth of July one of the busiest times of the year for San Antonio emergency rooms

The emergency department at Southside Mission Trail Baptist Hospital are among those staffed up locally in anticipation of busy Fourth of July holiday
Natalie Gutierrez
Baptist Health System
The emergency department at Southside Mission Trail Baptist Hospital is among those staffed up locally in anticipation of a busy Fourth of July holiday.

Dangers lurk everywhere during the Fourth of July, making it one of the busiest days of the year for emergency rooms.

Fireworks and swimming pools are the source of a lot of injuries requiring a trip to the emergency room during the holiday.

But Dr. John Tully, who oversees 16 Baptist Health System Emergency Departments in the area, said the sun and heat cause the most visits to the ER.

"People being outside for extended hours, not staying hydrated. You know, heat stroke, sunburns," he said.

Baptist Health System said drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine is a great way to stay hydrated. To avoid heat related illnesses, limit outdoor activities during the heat of the day and wear sunscreen.

San Antonio's traditional Independence Day festivities included the U.S. Postal Service's dedication of new flag-themed Forever stamps.

Tully said even fireworks like sparklers, deemed to be safer for children, are not all that safe without adult supervision. He said sparklers are often a source of burn injuries to children since they can get as hot as 2,000 degrees, which can melt metal.

He added that alcohol consumption while using fireworks or swimming is a factor behind a lot of injuries.

Baptist Health System said don't swim alone, wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket appropriate for your weight and size, especially while boating, regardless of swimming ability. Always swim sober and keep an eye on children and weak swimmers when they are in the water.

Nationwide, Baptist Health System reported that in 2023, 9,000 people were treated for fireworks injuries, and eight people died from their injuries.

Baptist Health System urged local residents to attend professional firework shows instead of putting on their own backyard display.

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