Fireworks: Let the experts handle them
For City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Every year in the U.S., 3,000 children under the age of 15 are sent to the emergency room (ER) because of fireworks, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. When it comes to fireworks, here’s advice that could spare you—or a loved one—a devastating injury: leave the shows to the professionals.
Typical injuries and burns from fireworks tend to be to the extremities (hands, fingers, or legs), as well as the head and eyes. According to Aspirus Health experts, many of these injuries are serious enough to require treatment in the ER and some are even deadly. Those hurt or killed are often children or bystanders.
“Sparklers may seem like harmless fun, but many parents don’t realize just how dangerous they can be for young children,” according to Sara Steen, Aspirus Trauma Program Manager. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Instead of sparklers this year, try giving your children glowsticks instead,” Steen added.
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) cautions that backyard fireworks simply are not safe. If you want to “ooh and aah” at fireworks this summer, take in a public display put on by experts, the NFPA advises.
That said, if you light fireworks yourself, be sure to take these precautions:
Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
Find more fireworks safety tips at cpsc.gov/fireworks.