As the Fourth of July nears, many communities across the country are gearing up to enjoy firework shows. If your patriotic celebration includes self-starter fireworks or hand-held sparklers, take precautions to avoid injury.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, last year there were 13,000 fireworks-related injuries and 8 deaths. About two-thirds of those injuries happened between June 16 and July 16, and 14 percent of those injuries involved sparklers. Children under the age of 14 suffer nearly half of all sparkler-related injuries.
In the event of an injury, you can seek urgent care or emergency care. Urgent care clinics offer quick walk-in services without an appointment. If the injury is serious or life-threatening, go to the emergency room of hospitals that provides emergency services to patients who need immediate medical attention, or call 911.
Fireworks are best enjoyed when left to the experts who strongly suggests individuals not use fireworks at home. However, realizing many will choose to do so, here are some tips to help make it a safer experience this independence Day celebration:
THINGS YOU CAN DO:
- Buy legal fireworks from a reputable dealer
- Read warning labels and follow all instructions
- Talk to your children prior to the festivities about firework safety and be aware of the dangers of sparklers.
- Keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher on hand
- Light fireworks one at a time in a clear and opened area, away from houses, power lines, or trees or bushes.
- Back away to a safe distance once you light a firework fuse.
- Keep pets indoors. Animals can become frightened and knock into children holding sparklers, or accidentally knock over a firework device.
- Dispose of all fireworks properly
THINGS YOU SHOULDON’T DO:
- Give any fireworks, including sparklers, to small children; older children should be supervised by an adult
- Light fireworks indoors or near other objects
- Wear loose clothing while using any fireworks
- Set of fireworks in glass or metal containers- the fragments can cause severe injury
- Try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks
- Don’t try to relight duds. Always douse the dud with water before throwing it away.
Have fun and stay safe this Fourth of July!