How to Not Go to the ER This 4th of July

It’s that time of year again! The fun-filled Fourth of July Celebration is on the horizon and you know what that means…..FIREWORKS!

I personally love fireworks but I know to leave the big booms to the professionals. After all, a firework is a device containing gunpowder and other combustible chemicals that causes a spectacular explosion when ignited (Thanks Google).

Seems dangerous, right? It can be, but doesn’t have to be if you follow the right safety procedures. I’ve listed below some facts about firework-related injuries as well as some safety tips for you to follow in order to prevent these injuries from occurring during your Fourth of July festivities.

FIREWORK RELATED INJURIES

Fireworks are fun until you end up in the ER with third-degree burns on part of your body. According to the 2014 Fireworks Annual Report produced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 11 nonoccupational fireworks-related deaths along with 10,500 injuries treated in U.S. hospital Emergency Departments. Approximately 7,000 of these injuries occurred between June 20 and July 20, 2014. From the data collected,

  • 74 percent of injuries were to males and 26 percent were to females
  • Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for 35 percent of the estimated injuries
  • 50 percent of injuries were to individuals younger than 20.

fireworks

Surprisingly, about 2,800 emergency department-treated injuries were attributed to the fireworks that many of us deem as “harmless” which include sparklers, bottle rockets, and small firecrackers. These are just some of the facts listed in the report. For more information, you can view the full report here.

SAFETY TIPS

The National Council of Fireworks Safety seeks to educate the public on the safe and responsible use of consumer fireworks in an effort to eliminate injuries. They have been cool enough to share their wealth of knowledge on the subject with us. Listed below are a few of their recommended safety tips. You can read all of them by following this link here.

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
  • sparklers
    Image courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association .

    Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.

  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.

For more information on firework safety, check out some of the organization websites listed below:

National Safety Councilfireworks1

American Academy of Ophthalmologyeyes

U.S. Fire Administrationfire

 

Stay Safe!

Kira R. ❤

Featured image: Chris Toron, Freeimages.com

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