BOISE, Idaho -- The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our country' s independence and to spend time with family and friends. It's also a time to enjoy some great displays of fireworks. But unfortunately, it's also a time when far too many people end up with unnecessary injuries related to fireworks.
In 2012, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that 8,700 consumers were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for firew0rks-related injuries. Most of those injuries occurred between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012.
More than half of these reported injuries involved burns to the hands, head and face. About 1,000 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets, fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children.
While St. Luke's emergency rooms are well-prepared for any fireworks injuries, the hope is that there will not be any significant injuries this season.
To keep your children and family safe, the CPSC recommends the following safety tips when using fireworks:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
- 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.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
To find out more information visit the the CPSC Fireworks Information Center