Health + Safety

How to Ensure Fireworks Safety for the Fourth of July Holiday

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As citizens prepare to celebrate on Fourth of July, officials are urging safety when handling fireworks.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 240 people on average nationwide go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4 holiday. Of those injuries, 31 percent result from sparklers and 11 percent from firecrackers.

So what’s the best way to make sure you and your family are safe?

Dr. Cory Vogel, an emergency physician at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay says when it comes to safety, the No. 1 rule is common sense.

If  you need a few pointers, here’s a few fireworks safety tips provided by Safe Kids Worldwide.
Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

  • The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.
  • If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.

Be Extra Careful With Sparklers

  • Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. How about this? Let your young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.
  • Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.

Take Necessary Precautions

  • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
  • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances

Be Prepared for an Accident or Injury

  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
  • Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
  • If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

Enjoy the holidays and be safe!

(Photo Credit: Catherine Yeulet/Thinkstock)