Fireworks may seem like a fun way to celebrate our nation’s birthday, but it’s important to exercise caution. In fact, the 4th of July holiday is one of the busiest days of the year for those who treat victims of accidental trauma. A recent statistic indicated that 8,500 fireworks-related injuries are reported every year in the U.S. And of these, about 2,000 include eye injuries.
“Some of the more dangerous kinds of firework include bottle rockets because they fly erratically, and can cause bystander injuries. Additionally, the bottles and cans used to launch bottle rockets can explode, showering fragments of glass and metal,” says Brandon Browne, MD, emergency medicine physician at Scott & White Healthcare – Round Rock.
“The most common firework injury for younger kids can involve sparklers and burns. While most adults view sparklers as one of the more harmless types of fireworks, in reality they can burn as hot as 1,800 degrees,” warns Dr Browne. “Fireworks are really best enjoyed at a community display, not in your backyard.”
Additional tips from emergency room physicians include:
- Do not let children play with exploding fireworks and rockets.
- Children playing with sparklers need to be closely supervised.
- View public fireworks displays from at least 500 feet away or up to a quarter of a mile.
- Leave the lighting of fireworks to trained professionals.
- If you find unexploded fireworks, don’t touch them. Contact your local fire or police department.
“Remember, fireworks injuries are preventable. Make it a safe Independence Day for everyone by enjoying fireworks set up by professionals,” Dr Browne.