A Designated Detonator – Happy Independence Day!!!
Holiday weekends like the Fourth of July are often cause for cookouts and celebrations with family and friends. But that could spell trouble for underage kids, especially boys.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) looked at data from the 2009 Independence Day weekend, when the holiday fell on a Saturday. It found that between July 3-5 there was a daily average of 622 ER visits by males related to underage drinking, up from the typical average of 304. Visits for females related to underage drinking saw a much smaller rise, to a daily average of 320 over the holiday weekend instead of a typical 273.
Peter Delany, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at SAMHSA, says the numbers take into account both visits because of alcohol itself, such as excessive drinking, and accidents and mishaps where alcohol played a factor. Spikes in visits also occur during other holidays, Delany says, especially those happening when students are not in school and the holiday is observed over a weekend. Independence Day 2011 fits all those criteria. At public or community events where alcohol may be present, it’s important for systems to be in place that keep alcohol out of underage hands, Delany says.
In addition to parties, the Fourth of July adds fireworks into the mix. Though the SAMHSA study did not examine what role fireworks played in underage alcohol-related ER visits, the 2009 Fireworks Report by the Consumer Products Safety Commission found that in 2009, individuals age 10-19 accounted for 33% of all fireworks-related injuries.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety warns people not to mix alcohol and fireworks and on its website advises groups to have a “designated shooter.”
Not sure if drugs or alcohol were involved in this “accident” but it would not surprise me: