Hope & Healing: The UF Health Blog

Safety first in fireworks fun

Independence Day conjures up thoughts of barbecues, Americana and the celebration of another birthday for the stars and stripes. And while the party wouldn’t be complete without fireworks, nothing puts a damper on Fourth of July festivities like an injury.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 8,700 people received treatment for fireworks-related injuries at hospital emergency departments in the U-S in 2012. To ensure you and your family have a safe but sizzling summer celebration, follow these tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety.

  • First and foremost, never allow young children to touch fireworks … and supervise teenagers who handle them. The danger exists for adults as well, so read all caution labels before igniting.
  • Aside from knowing your fireworks, brush up on your local laws about them. Also, only ignite the explosives outdoors, keep a bucket of water handy and stick to non-alcoholic refreshments before or during the handling of pyrotechnics.
  • Remember to slap on a pair of safety glasses to protect those peepers from injuries such as burns, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage and blindness.
  • Never relight a dud and don’t forget to douse spent fireworks in water before discarding them in an outdoor trash bin.
  • And while sparklers may seem like a safer alternative, don’t let their dazzling effects fool you. Never hold or light more than one simultaneously. Also, because a sparkler’s wire and stick remain hot long after the flame fades, drop it like it’s hot in a bucket of water before throwing it away.
  • Last but not least, remember to have fun and exercise caution to avoid taking the spark out of your holiday with a trip to the hospital.

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