Preventing Firework Injuries: July 4, 2019
From big to small, the Fourth of July isn’t complete without fireworks! But if you’re planning to host your own firework show, health experts say there are a few things to keep in mind. “The risk of firework injuries is more than twice as high for kids age 10 to 14 than any other age population,” said Sally Kreuscher, child advocacy program coordinator with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Fireworks cause 200,000 injuries each year nationwide. “Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of all the ER firework visits,” said Kreuscher.
Sparklers can heat up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit which can cause a third-degree burn. Instead of giving kids sparklers try swapping them out for glow sticks as a safe alternative. “You need to be aware of where the children are at all times when fireworks are being lit,” she said.
Also, make sure you have a water hose, a bucket of water, and a fire extinguisher nearby in case something goes wrong. “On the Fourth of July there are more fires than any other day of the year and half of those fires are actually caused by fireworks,” said Kreuscher.
Make sure fireworks are only used outside, away from buildings, and never relight a dud. “You want to make sure that kids are not the ones who are actually handling the fireworks. Adults should be the ones who are using them. Kids should stand back,” she said.
If a child is burned, the burn service at Golisano Children’s Hospital is available for quick treatment. The safest option is to take the family to see a public display. However you celebrate, know how to keep the night safe and keep children protected from burns.