Be safe with fireworks on the Fourth of July

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With organized firework displays canceled, many families are purchasing fireworks to recreate the shows they are used to at home.

For many, this will be their first time experimenting with fireworks and for children there are definitely safety risks.

In 2019, there were roughly 10,000 injuries and 12 fireworks-related deaths reported nationally, with 73 percent occurring during the month surrounding the Fourth of July (June 21-July 21). Sparklers were the number one cause of injuries, accounting for an estimated 900 injuries with 66 percent of the injuries to males. Similar to 2018s data, nearly half of the estimated injuries were to individuals younger than 20 years of age. In fact, half of reported sparkler injuries involved children younger than five.

However, there are ways to celebrate safely, and also some things you will want to avoid.

Follow these safety tips when using fireworks:

• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

• Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.

• Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

• Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.

• Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

• Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

• Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy.

• Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

• Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.

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