Fourth of July fireworks safety tips
With Independence Day coming up this weekend, fireworks will certainly play a role in celebrations with family and friends.
Injuries by fireworks increase around the Fourth of July, to an average of 240 people per day visiting Emergency Departments across the US. The most common injuries occur to the hands (36%), eyes (19%), and face/head (19%). Most are minor, but these injuries can be severe, resulting in the loss of fingers and even vision.
“Small children love to hold sparklers; however, it is important for parents to know that sparklers burn at a very high temperature, and often children will hold them close leading to sparks on their clothing, face, or hands. A safer alternative for small children are glow sticks, which are still fun and pose a much less risk of injury,” explains Anna Moses, BSN, RN, CCRN, CEN, TCRN
, trauma nurse coordinator, Northern Light Surgery and Trauma.
So how can families and friends play it safe with fireworks? Consider the following:
- Make sure they are legal in your city or town
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a designated fireworks shooter or attendant
- Make sure your firing area is clear – away from trees, houses, etc.
- Keep small children away from the firing area
- Wear eye protection
- Follow instructions on the fireworks’ packaging
- Keep a water source close by
- If fireworks do not initially ignite, do not attempt to relight them. Instead, soak with water and dispose of them safely.
- Light one at a time, and move away immediately after lighting
- Never point fireworks at another person.
Have a safe, happy, and fun Fourth of July!