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Fireworks Safety Tips

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Fireworks Photo / AP Photo / Mel Evans

Fireworks are a beautiful but dangerous thing that can leave severe burns, scars and disfigurement. Fireworks are known to reach temperatures above 2000 degrees Fahrenheit leaving anyone in its path in severe danger.

“During the summer, fireworks become a fascination for kids of all ages. But some don’t realize how dangerous fireworks can be,” says Wendy Pomerantz, MD, emergency medicine physician and one of the leading coordinators for the Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center said in a press release.

According to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, just last year, almost 9,000 people were treated for fireworks injuries. And during the 30 days surrounding July 4, fireworks sent about 1,900 injured people to emergency rooms.  Children under the age of 15 accounted for 40 percent of the injuries.

In a Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center press release, Dr. Pomerantz, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission give the following tips on fireworks safety.

SAFETY TIPS

  • Observe all local laws
  • Never allow children to play with or light fireworks, even sparklers
  • Older children who decide to use fireworks should always be supervised by an adult
  • Only buy from reliable sellers
  • Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper, often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays
  • Use fireworks outdoors only
  • Always read and follow all warnings and label instructions
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks
  • Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves and grass, and other things that may catch on fire
  • Never try to relight “dud” fireworks that have not fully functioned
  • Keep water handy (a garden hose and a bucket) in case of a malfunction or a fire
  • Never experiment or make your own fireworks
  • Light only one firework at a time
  • Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trashcan (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water)
  • Never light fireworks in glass or metal containers
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people, animals, or buildings that can catch on fire
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket
  • The lighter of the fireworks should always wear eye and ear protection and never have any part of the body over the fireworks
  • Stay away from illegal explosives
  • Use long match sticks to light the fireworks, not lighters or cigarettes
  • Never shorten or lengthen the fuse
  • Families should attend professional fireworks displays rather than using fireworks at home.

The AAP recommends prohibiting public sale of all fireworks, including those by mail or Internet.

 

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