Fireworks are a summer tradition especially around the 4th of July. Unfortunately, each year, thousands of people suffer severe burn injuries in firework-related accidents. In 2013, hospital emergency rooms in the United States treated approximately 11,400 people for injuries from fireworks – the majority of which involved injury to the head and extremities. The risk of injury is highest for children, ages 0-4 followed by 10-14. Due to the risk of injury, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend that children, especially those 6 and under, not be allowed to use any type of fireworks, including sparklers which can cause severe burns. Malfunctioning fireworks are also a common cause of injuries.
If you are planning on using fireworks, here are some safety tips to follow:
- Always have a responsible adult supervise all firework activities.
- Never point or throw a firework at another person.
- Never try to re-light or pickup a firework that has not fully ignited.
- Avoid fireworks packaged in brown paper because this type of packaging is commonly used for fireworks intended for professional use only.
- Always read and follow the safety labels and instructions on the firework.
- Wear safety glasses when using fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and move away to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
- Keep a garden hose or bucket of water handy in case of a fire or other accident.