No July 4th celebration is complete without at least a few fireworks. Fireworks are the hallmark of the holiday, and while they are spectacular to watch, they are also very dangerous and can lead to serious personal injury. Common fireworks injuries include:
- Severe burns (most common on the hands, face, and legs)
- Eye and other facial injuries
- Loss of fingers
In 2010, 8,600 people were treated for injuries related to fireworks accidents. The majority of those injured were young males. Smaller fireworks, such as sparklers and firecrackers generally cause the most injuries.
The safest way to see fireworks is by going to a community sanctioned event where fireworks are handled by professionals. But varying types of fireworks are also readily available to the public. If you choose to purchase and light off fireworks yourself, be sure to follow these 5 safety tips:
- Never let small children use fireworks. If older children wish to light them off, let them do so only under adult supervision.
- Don’t put any part of your body (fingers, arm, head, etc.) over a firework when lighting.
- Always keep a bucket of water nearby to douse any fire that may spring up.
- After lighting a firework, immediately back up a safe distance to watch.
- Never point a firework at another person.
However you choose to celebrate the Fourth of July this year, please remember to celebrate safely.