Fireworks Safety Tips
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), nearly 70 percent of all fireworks-related injuries occur around the 4th of July holiday. The most common injuries include burns, lacerations, and eye injuries and more than half of those injured are children and teens.
The best way to enjoy this 4th of July is by watching the public, professional fireworks display. However, if you do set off your own fireworks, never allow small children to play with or ignite fireworks - even sparklers, which burn at approximately 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit - and never buy or use illegal fireworks, which can be deadly.
The U.S. Fire Administration publishes the following tips to help keep you and your family safe this holiday:
- The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks.
- If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.
- Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
- Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to properly operate the fire extinguisher.
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
- Stand several feet away from lighted fireworks. If fireworks do not go off, do not stand over them to investigate; douse them with water and carefully dispose of them.
- Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If the fireworks are not marked with the contents, directions, and warning labels, do not light them.
- Supervise children around fireworks at all times.
If an accident involving the eyes does occur, Prevent Blindness America suggests the following tips:
- Do not rub the eye or apply pressure as this may increase bleeding or make the injury worse. To keep your child from touching or rubbing his or her eyes, hold or tape a foam cup or the bottom half of a juice carton to the eye.
- Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing.
- Do not stop for medicine! Over-the-counter pain relievers will not significantly relieve pain and aspirin (which should never be given to children) and ibuprofen can thin the blood, increasing bleeding. Take your child to the emergency room immediately - this is more important than stopping for a pain reliever.
- Do not apply ointment. Ointment may not be sterile and makes the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.