Take the 'Fire' out of Your Fireworks Display
For many Americans, the best Fourth of July parties are topped off with fireworks. Their pop of color on a warm night is thrilling for all generations, from toddlers to great-grandparents. But if not used safely, fireworks can turn a fun event into an evening spent at the emergency room.
A recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 9,600 people were hurt by fireworks over the Fourth of July holiday in 2011. Usually, almost half of the people hurt are kids under 15. Bystanders are also victims much of the time.
Eye injuries, burns to hands and damaged clothing often happen. And in states where fireworks are legal, home fires are more common.
For a safe evening of fireworks, follow these simple yet important tips:
- Always supervise kids
- Tell kids to never throw fireworks at others
- Use fireworks on a flat surface
- Don't use them near homes
- Keep pets indoors
- Soak used fireworks in water
But no matter how safety conscious you are, accidents can happen. If they do, how you care for the injury can make a big difference in recovery.
Burns that look like a sunburn most likely don't need emergency help. You can cool the area with running water followed by soothing ointment and a soft bandage. Aspirin will help reduce any pain. You should seek medical help for large or deep burns.
For eye injuries, don't flush with water. Instead, you should quickly see a medical professional.
With a little planning and a lot of caution, your Fourth of July party can be safe and injury-free this year.
Sources: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Council on Fireworks Safety, kidshealth.org