CMC offers tips to avoid injuries from fireworks on the Fourth
by The Press and Standard | July 2, 2018 2:35 pm
About 7,000 people in the United States will go to the ER with fireworks-related injuries around the Fourth of July holiday. This Independence Day, Colleton Medical Center encourages you to prevent fireworks accidents by practicing common sense and following basic safety rules.
“Many people don’t realize how quickly someone can get injured with fireworks,” says Dr. Heather Hinshelwood, Emergency Medicine Physician with Colleton Medical Center. “Fireworks should never be held while they are lit. Sparklers can be just as dangerous as other fireworks.”
In 2016, there were an estimated 11,100 fireworks-related injuries in the U.S. Fifty-three percent of those were to the hands, head, face and ears, and 31 percent of injuries occurred in children under the age of 15. Many of these injuries could have been prevented with proper safety equipment and adult supervision.
To avoid injury from sparklers and fireworks, the experts of Colleton Medical Center recommend following these guidelines:
- Buy only legal fireworks, and read the cautionary labels on your fireworks before use.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Don’t consume alcohol when using fireworks.
- Only light one firework at a time, then move away.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of fire or other mishap.
- Never try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. Wait 20 minutes before approaching the firework, then soak it in water overnight before disposing of it.
- Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers.
- Never allow children to play with fireworks. Don’t let small children light or get close to fireworks when lit.