Emergency Care For You

Summer

Leave Fireworks to the Professionals this 4th of July


What would the 4th of July be without fireworks? A little less busy in hospital emergency rooms. The nation’s emergency physicians urge you to celebrate the country’s birthday by using common sense when it comes to the potential dangers of fireworks. 

Emergency physicians see many injuries due to fireworks around the 4th of July. Many of those ER visits are initiated with the line "hey watch this!" 

In 2014, eleven people died in the United States and about 10,500 people were injured because of fireworks, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It’s a significant increase from the year before. Additionally, 65 percent of those injuries occurred in the days surrounding July 4th. 

An estimated 7,000 fireworks-related injuries were treated in emergency department around the 4th of July.

Sparklers and rockets accounted for nearly half of all estimated injuries. Almost half (46 percent) of fireworks injuries are to a person’s hands or fingers. One-third (34 percent) of them are to a person’s eyes, head, face and ears (CPSC).

If fireworks are legal in your community, ACEP strongly suggests that you do not use fireworks at your home. If you do use them, however, these do’s and don’ts will help make it a safer experience.

DO — Have knowledgeable supervision by an experienced adult if you choose to use fireworks. 

DO — Buy fireworks from reputable dealers

DO — Read warning labels and follow all instructions 

DO — Keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher on hand

DO — Light fireworks one at a time

DO — Dispose of all fireworks properly

DON’T — Give any fireworks, including sparklers, to small children; older children should be supervised by a responsible adult

DON’T — Light fireworks indoors or near other objects

DON’T — Place your body over a fireworks device when trying to light the fuse and immediately back up to a safe distance after you light it.

DON’T — Point or throw fireworks at another person, ever

DON’T — Try to re-light or pick up fireworks have not ignited fully

DON’T — Wear loose clothing while using any fireworks

DON’T — Set off fireworks in glass or metal containers — the fragments can cause severe injury.

DON’T — Carry fireworks in a pocket.

DON’T — Try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks

You should only watch a professional fireworks display managed by experts who have proper training and experience handling these explosives, Have fun and enjoy this great American holiday. As always, we’ll be ready to treat you, but we don’t want to have to see you in the ER.