Firework Safety Prevention
“And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”
– The Star Spangled Banner
Every Fourth of July, people throughout the United States set off fireworks to celebrate our independence from Britain. The fireworks symbolize bombs bursting in air to remind us of those who fought for our freedom. However, for as beautiful as fireworks can be, they can also cause serious injuries when not handled properly.
Here are a few tips to ensure you, your family, your friends, and even your fur babies stay safe this Fourth of July.
Never Give Fireworks to Small Children
Firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are too dangerous for children. In fact, sparklers can reach 1,800°F, which is hot enough to melt gold. Fireworks should only be handled by adults and instructions on the packaging should always be followed.
Don’t Hold Fireworks
Never hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting the fuse. Also, you should never throw or point fireworks at people, animals, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials.
Keep Water Nearby
As previously stated, fireworks can get very hot. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that fireworks start more than 19,000 fires and send over 9,000 people to the Emergency Room each year in the U.S. Help prevent fires and burns by keeping a bucket of water or a hose nearby.
Think About Your Pet
Animals have sensitive ears and can be easily frightened or stressed by the Fourth of July and big celebrations. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run away or get injured.
Have a Game Plan
If someone you know gets hurt while lighting fireworks, be prepared by knowing the steps to provide first aid.
- Minor burns: Cool the burn by running it under cool or lukewarm water for 20 minutes, apply aloe vera or cocoa butter, and cover the burn with a clean bandage.
- Major burns: Call 911 and start cooling the burn under cool water (use a shower or hose if the burns are large) until professional help arrives. If the injured person is showing signs of shock, lie them down and elevate their legs.
- Explosion injuries: Call 911 and attempt to stop the bleeding by applying pressure or a tourniquet. For severed smaller appendages (fingers, toes, etc.), cover the appendage in moist, sterile gauze, place it in a sterile bag, and then place that bag on ice.
Don’t let firework injuries take the fun out of your holiday. Stay safe and be responsible this Fourth of July by following the above tips. In addition, our Emergency Department and Trauma Center are always open for severe injuries.
National Fire Protection Association, https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Fireworks
Nemours KidsHealth, https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/fireworks.html