According to the National Council of Fireworks Safety, thousands of Americans are injured each year by incidents involving fireworks. As expected, the majority of these injuries occur around the Fourth of July holiday. Most common firework injuries affect the fingers and hands. However, injuries can occur to any part of the body. More serious injuries such as loss of fingers, blindness and hearing loss also can occur.
There are still ways to have fun and celebrate, but also reduce the risks of having to make an emergency trip to Urgent Care or the ER. One of the best ways to eliminate the risk of fireworks-related injury is to view fireworks displays offered only by professionals; and even then keep a safe distance away. There truly are no safe fireworks, and common sense really can help prevent injuries. If something seems like it could be dangerous, it probably is. However, if you do decide to put on your own fireworks show, there are safety tips to keep in mind to reduce the chance of injury.
- Don’t let children play with fireworks. Even sparklers can be dangerous as the temperatures can reach an excess of 1,000 degrees.
- Light fireworks outside, never inside an enclosed space.
- Never point fireworks towards people.
- Be sure others are safely out of the way before lighting fireworks.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby.
- Only light one firework at a time.
- Never place any part of your body over a firework.
- Do not stand over the firework when lighting and step back immediately after lit.
- Never try to relight a firework.
- Don’t use bottle rockets. Their paths are notoriously erratic, and they can explode.
If someone is injured by a firework, seek immediate medical attention. Even if the injury seems minor, medical attention should not be delayed.