The summer season has arrived bringing barbecues, pool parties and unfortunately fireworks injuries.The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates approximately 8,600 individuals are treated in the emergency rooms yearly due to fireworks injuries. Michigan consumers can now for the first time, legally buy more powerful fireworks such as firecrackers and some consumer-grade devices such as bottle rockets, sky lanterns, and roman candles. This may lead to even more fireworks injuries unless extreme caution is used.
Tonya Touchstone, MD, pediatrician in the emergency department at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan offers the following ten tips to keep children and adults safe from fireworks injuries:
- Leave it to the experts and enjoy professional fireworks displays
- Always purchase fireworks from an authorized retailer
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s direction for proper use
- Only light fireworks one at a time and immediately back away to a safe distance
- Never point or throw fireworks at other people
- Never give fireworks to children. Even young children who are not lighting and holding fireworks need to be kept at a distance and constantly monitored around fireworks
- Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a fire or other emergency
- Once the fireworks stops burning, use water first before discarding it to prevent a fire
- Do not try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully
- Never underestimate the danger of sparklers which can ignite clothing and cause bad burns
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