Fireworks Safety Checklist for the 4th

Fireworks Safety Checklist for the 4th

Stay Safe: Tips for Handling Fireworks


By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter

SATURDAY, July 1, 2023 – It’s that time of the year again when fireworks light up the sky in celebration of Independence Day. While fireworks can be a fun and mesmerizing spectacle, it’s crucial to remember that they can also be dangerous if not handled correctly. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is emphasizing the importance of caution to prevent injuries to the fingers, hands, arms, and face.

“It may be a tradition to let children and teens oversee fireworks, but parents should always be cautious. Fireworks-related injuries can have long-term and sometimes devastating effects,” warned orthopedic hand surgeon Dr. Tyler Steven Pidgeon, a spokesman for the AAOS. “Common fireworks, such as bottle rockets and hand sparklers, may seem tame, but the high temperatures of these devices can result in third-degree burns down to the bone or even loss of limbs.”

The Rising Trend of Fireworks Injuries

Recent data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reveals a concerning increase in fireworks injuries. From 2006 to 2021, these injuries witnessed a 25% jump, demonstrating the need for heightened awareness and adherence to safety measures. In 2021, the body parts most commonly injured were the hands and fingers (31%) and the head, face, and ears (21%). Furthermore, approximately 32% of fireworks-related injuries treated in emergency departments were burns.

Precautions for a Safe Fourth of July

To ensure a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July celebration, the AAOS recommends following these essential steps:

  1. Check Local Regulations: Before purchasing any fireworks, it is essential to verify what types are legal in your area. Consult your local police department to ensure compliance with local laws and to check if any burn bans are in effect.

  2. Avoid Illegal Fireworks: Quality and safety cannot be guaranteed with illegal fireworks. It is crucial to refrain from buying or using fireworks that do not meet legal requirements.

  3. Adult Supervision: Only adults should handle and light fireworks. It is vital to keep young children away from fireworks, including seemingly harmless sparklers, which can reach temperatures exceeding 1,000 degrees.

  4. Use Protective Eyewear: Wearing safety eyewear while handling fireworks adds an extra layer of protection for the eyes and face.

  5. Stay Sober: Do not use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Impaired judgment can increase the risk of accidents and injuries.

  6. Keep Water Nearby: Always have a hose or bucket of water readily available. This precaution ensures that used fireworks can be safely soaked before disposal.

  7. No Relighting: Never attempt to relight a firework that did not ignite properly. Instead, wait for at least 20 minutes and then soak it in water before handling it.

  8. Seek Medical Help: In the unfortunate event of a fireworks-related injury, seek immediate medical assistance. Do not delay in getting professional medical care to avoid potential complications.

More Information

For additional information and resources on fireworks injuries and safety, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website.

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In summary, enjoying fireworks safely is of utmost importance to avoid severe injuries. By being cautious and following the AAOS guidelines, you can celebrate Independence Day without compromising your well-being. Let’s keep the Fourth of July festivities joyful and injury-free. Stay safe and have a happy Independence Day!