Summer means picnics, barbecues, parades and fireworks displays, especially around the 4th of July. Summer also means an increase in injuries from backyard grills, bonfires and fireworks. In 2006, an estimated 9,200 people were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries, 36 percent of whom were under 15 years old. Children between the ages of 10 and 14 were at three times the risk of fireworks injuries than the general population. About a third of the injuries were from small firecrackers, 21 percent from bottle rockets and 20 percent from sparklers. In 2004, fireworks caused $21 million in direct property damage.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety wants every American to have a safe Fourth of July. We know that most of the reported fireworks related injuries can be avoided. Our mission is to educate the public on the safe and responsible use of fireworks so as to eliminate injuries. Please treat fireworks with respect, read all of the cautions and warnings and use common sense. Lighting fireworks indoors, throwing them from automobiles and lighting multiple devices at the same time can lead to accidents and are not how fireworks are intended to be used. Always obey all local laws pertaining to the use of fireworks.
If you see someone misusing fireworks, stop them. Show them the correct way to use consumer fireworks and do not ever use professional fireworks or illegal explosives. Do your part and everyone will be safer.
A few reminders for you this Season are as follows…
•Use fireworks and sparklers only outdoors.
•Only persons over 12 years of age should handle sparklers of any type. Too many young people get burned by sparklers every year. By keeping sparkers out of youngster’s hands, we can reduce these injury rates.
•Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you are, don’t use them. If drought conditions mean a ban on fireworks, follow the law.
•Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter them or combine them.
•Fireworks and alcohol do not mix. Have a designated “shooter.”
The National Safety Council advises that the best way to safely enjoy this 4th of July is to watch a public fireworks display conducted by professionals.
However, if fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to use them, be sure to follow these important safety tips:
• Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
• Older children should use fireworks only under close adult supervision.
• Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from onlookers, houses and flammable materials.
• Light one device at a time; maintain a safe distance after lighting.
• Do not allow any running or horseplay while fireworks are being used.
• Never ignite devices in a container.
• Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks; douse and soak them with water and discard them safely.
• Keep a bucket of water or hose nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire.
When all else fails, use common sense. Respect fireworks and sparklers as the great American tradition they are, but also respect the fact that the must be used with caution.
Disclaimer: Facts in these articles are obtained from medical and clinical journals, scientific publications, and published trade books. These articles are written and published strictly for information purposes. Consult your health care provider for your specific medical needs. For any questions, comments or suggestions contact
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