Fireworks pose safety threats: IU Health urges families to leave fireworks fun to the pros
An IU Health La Porte Release
La Porte, IN – What may seem like innocent, holiday fun could turn out to be anything but this Fourth of July. That’s why Indiana University Health La Porte Hospital, in partnership with Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, is reminding families about the dangers of consumer fireworks.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, families should attend community firework displays rather than putting on their own. In addition, IU Health reminds community members that all fireworks pose a safety threat, and significant injuries have been reported with all types—even the ones marketed as “safe” or appropriate for children.
Of the estimated 9,600 firework injuries treated in emergency rooms nationwide in 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said about a quarter of those were to children under age 15. Fireworks can result in severe burns, scars, disfigurement and even death.
IU Health warns community members to not be fooled by the size of fireworks. Sparklers, bottle rockets and small firecrackers actually cause serious injuries. Malfunctioning fireworks only contribute to some of the reported injuries, and bystanders and children are often hurt as well.
If parents and neighbors insist on using fireworks at home, IU Health and the CPSC recommend these precautions to help ensure a safe celebration:
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging as they could be intended for professional displays and pose a danger to consumers.
- Keep all children at a distance from fireworks, and never allow them to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Adults should always supervise fireworks activities—never leave children unattended with fireworks.
- Take care with sparklers—they burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees and injure many children.
- Light one item at a time, then move back to a safe distance immediately.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully burned.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.