There is nothing quite like the atmosphere of the Fourth of July. However, it is important to use caution during this holiday. On average 230 people go the emergency room every day during the month surrounding the holiday with fireworks-related injuries, often with burns suffered to the hands and face.
"Too many Fourth of July celebrations are ruined because of rushing a loved one to the emergency room after a firework accident," said Brett Call, D.O., emergency room physician at Berger Health System. "The safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a public display where they are lit by trained professionals."
If you do decide to light your own, it is essential to read these safety guidelines:
Important things to do:
- Light fireworks one at a time, then quickly move away.
- Dispose of fireworks properly by letting them burn out completely, and then douse with water before discarding them.
- Keep water handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Make sure to use firework areas that are legal.
- Read warning labels and follow all directions carefully.
Important things not to do:
- Do not let younger children play with sparklers, as they can cause third-degree burns.
- Do not bend over fireworks when lighting the fuse.
- Do not attempt to relight or handle fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Do not wear loose clothing while operating fireworks.
- Do not set off fireworks in glass or metal containers.
Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our country's independence. It is not a time to be spending in the emergency room. Following these safety precautions will assure you and your loved ones, a happy Fourth of July.