Health Focus | Sparking a Conversation About Fireworks Safety
Americans look forward to Fourth of July celebrations every year. With delicious food, time with family and friends, and the splendor of fireworks to cap off the night, what’s not to like? Unfortunately, too many Americans are injured on or around the 4th of July due to accidents surrounding fireworks use, both illegally and legally. Here’s what you can do to keep you and your loved ones safe while maintaining the joys of celebrating Independence Day:
- On average, 250 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around July 4
- Hands and fingers (33%), faces (28%), eyes (9%), torsos (12%), arms (8%), and legs (18%) are among the most injured body parts from accidents related to fireworks
- 69% of fireworks-related injuries are burns
- According to the National Fire Protection Associate, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year resulting in an average of three deaths and 40 civilian injuries
- Fireworks burn at a temperature greater than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit
- Never shoot fireworks in the direction of another person
- Remember to only use fireworks outdoors and away from other buildings
- Always keep a bucket of water on hand in case of an emergency. Submerge used fireworks into water to reduce risk of fire
- Never try to re-light fireworks that did not ignite fully
- Light fireworks one at a time and stand back quickly
- Keep small children and pets away from fireworks
- Do not light fireworks when under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Do not use professional-grade fireworks at home. Look for professional fireworks displays in your area instead
- Never hold a firework that is not meant to be held
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- Fireworks Safety: American Society for Surgery of the Hand Website: http://www.assh.org/handcare/hand-safety/fireworks Accessed June 18,2018
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Published Jun 28, 2018