About 7,000 people in the United States will go to the ER with fireworks-related injuries during the Fourth of July holiday. This Independence Day, TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center in Smyrna encourages you to prevent fireworks accidents by practicing common sense and following basic safety rules.
"Many people don't realize that sparklers can be just as dangerous as other fireworks," says Dr. Clark Archer, medical director of emergency services. "Last July, 1,400 people in the U.S. were treated in the ER for injuries related to sparklers. They can burn at temperatures of over 2,000 degrees and can quickly light clothing or hair on fire."
In 2014, there were 10,500 fireworks-related injuries in the U.S. Fifty-five percent of those were to the hands and face, and 35 percent of injuries occurred in children under the age of 15. Many of these injuries could have been prevented with proper safety equipment and adult supervision.
To avoid injury from sparklers and fireworks, the experts at TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center recommend following these guidelines:
- Buy only legal fireworks, and read the cautionary labels on your fireworks before use.
- Don't buy anything packaged in brown paper, because these are likely professional-grade fireworks that can be dangerous to consumers.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Don't use alcohol when using fireworks.
- Only light one firework at a time, then move away.
- Never try to relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes before approaching the firework, then soak it in water overnight before disposing of it.
- Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers.
- Never give fireworks to children. Don't let small children light or get close to fireworks when lit.