Every year around the 4th of July, urgent care and emergency departments across the country see a rash of unfortunate accidents due to the misuse of fireworks, sparklers and other pyrotechnics. Burns, amputations, eye injuries, and lacerations are the most common injuries. Learn important tips to keep you and your children safe as you celebrate Independence Day.
A look at the stats
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, accidents related to fireworks sent approximately 10,500 people to emergency departments in 2014. At least 11 died. Sparklers, which can be easily purchased at pop-up tents and convenience stores, accounted for 1,400 injuries, predominantly among children under age 9. While proof of adult age is required to purchase sparklers, many parents buy them for their children to use.
SafeKids Worldwide says the best advice is to not use fireworks at home, but rather attend public displays and leave lighting to the professionals.
7 tips for the 4th
If you are using fireworks at home, make sure your holiday celebrations are safe by following these 7 tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:
- Obey all fireworks laws.
- Read the caution labels and performance descriptions before lighting any fireworks.
- Never allow children to use any fireworks unattended.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Never use fireworks without water or a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Don’t drink alcohol when using fireworks or sparklers.
- Dispose of fireworks and sparklers by wetting them down and placing in a metal trash can away from buildings and combustible materials.
Click here for more fireworks safety tips.