But there is good reason our brave first responders and hospital emergency workers brace for the holiday every year. In the midst of all these parties, there is a spike in serious injuries and illnesses directly related to the revelry. A study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine analyzed some 60 million hospital death certificates over a 25-year stretch. What they found was that, on average, 42,325 more people than expected died during the two weeks between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with New Year’s Day having the highest fatality rate of any day of the year.
These reported incidents weren’t solely due to drunken driving accidents, but those certainly didn’t help. Even when people suffered from health-related ailments, authors speculated the death rates were higher during this time because people delayed seeking treatment due to the holidays.
Other possible injuries and ailments on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day include:
- Fireworks. Every year, we know that 11,000 people are injured in fireworks mishaps. About a dozen of those are fatal. Fireworks are popular during New Year’s Eve celebrations – especially in Florida, where the weather is perfect for outdoor parties. But truly, the best way to avoid suffering a fireworks-related injury is to leave it up to the professionals. If you do feel compelled to engage in your own light show, make sure you are sober. Also, never hand fireworks off to children – even those smaller, seemingly “safe” ones. About 40 percent of fireworks injuries treated in hospitals involve those smaller flammables, such as sparklers and bottle rockets. Children under the age of five suffered a higher rate of injury than any other age group.
- Unsafe Intoxication. Many people specifically look forward to indulging in spirits on New Year’s. For adults over 21, there is nothing wrong with this. However, the problem is that crossing your threshold could result in worse problems than just a nasty hangover. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports six people die every day of alcohol poisoning, which amounts to more than 2,200 every year. The risk goes up on traditional “drinking” holidays, such as New Year’s Eve due to binge drinking. Indicators of alcohol overdose include mental confusion or unable to rouse a person, vomiting, seizures, slow breathing or low body temperature.
- Celebratory Gunfire. One would think it’s common knowledge that firing off a gun aimlessly is not a smart idea. Yet people do it on New Year’s Eve all the time. Law enforcement agencies are often routinely called to investigate reports of random gunfire. The problem is this notion that it’s harmless to fire a gun into the air, as long as it’s not aimed at anyone. But in reality, a bullet will shoot two miles up into the air before falling down at a speed of between 300 and 700 feet per second. That is fast enough to kill someone. In fact, dozens of people are killed every year by stray bullets in scenarios just like this. It’s illegal and it’s dangerous. Just don’t.
While our Fort Myers injury attorneys want everyone in the community to enjoy the holiday, we also want to make sure everyone safely ushers in 2017.
Call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.
4 Ways People Get Hurt on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 30, 2016, By Justin Worland, Time
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Roundabout to Relieve Traffic at San Carlos Boulevard in Fort Myers Beach? Nov. 28, 2016, Fort Myers Injury Lawyer Blog