Lake Pointe Medical Offer Fireworks Safety Tips
The Fourth of July is one of the most anticipated summer events where friends and family gather together to celebrate our nation with one of the most American traditions: watching fireworks. While fireworks are beautiful to watch, they are dangerous to play with. If not handled properly, fireworks can cause severe injuries to eyes and skin. Even just watching a friend light fireworks can put you at risk.
“Most people do not understand the power of fireworks.” explains Dr. L Scott Dencklau, medical director of the emergency department at Lake Pointe Medical Center. “We see devastating injuries every year related to fireworks.”
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 9,000 fireworks-related injuries happen each year. Of these, nearly half are head-related injuries. Nearly 30 percent of these are injuries to the eyes, one-quarter of which result in permanent vision loss or blindness. Children under the age of 15 account for half of all fireworks eye injuries in the United States.
Lake Pointe Medical Center in Rowlett, Texas offers the following tips to stay safe this Fourth of July.
The safest way to watch fireworks is at a professional show, not by setting off fireworks at home. When viewing a fireworks display, respect the safety barriers and select a safe viewing distance of at least 500 feet away. If you know someone who is planning a fireworks show of their own, you may want to share these safety tips:
• Make sure fireworks are legal in your area.
• Children should not be allowed to play with fireworks.
• Watch children closely when setting off fireworks.
• Only adults should light fireworks.
• Keep an extinguisher, hose, or bucket of water nearby.
• Do not light fireworks inside or near dry vegetation.
• Do not pick up a firework that has not gone off. Do not try to relight it. Douse it with water and dispose of it.
• Read the directions on fireworks before setting them off.
• Stand several feet away from lit fireworks.
• Do not light more than one firework at a time.
• Do not wear loose-fitting clothing when lighting fireworks.
It is incredibly important to make sure that children do not handle fireworks. Even fireworks sold at a grocery store, such as sparklers or other small novelties, are just as dangerous. Sparklers, which can burn at more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, account for many injuries every year. Firecrackers and bottle rockets that explode near a person may cause injury to the hands or face.
Children, who are naturally curious and want to see how things work, may unintentionally put themselves in harm’s way when playing near fireworks. They can get too close to a lit firecracker or try to examine a dud that hasn’t ignited properly. Always make sure that children have close adult supervision near fireworks.
July is a great month to enjoy the annual festivities like the Fourth of July. Just make sure to use precautions when watching or lighting fireworks; you can never be too careful!