There are some fireworks you should avoid, particularly if you have small children. According to the American Association of Pediatrics the 3 most dangerous fireworks (those that injure the most children each year) are:
- Firecrackers (29%)
- Sparklers/novelty devices (20.5%)
- Aerial devices, such as bottle rockets (17.5%)
Many of these injuries are serious, and -- you guessed it -- most are burns. The top 3 most injured body parts are:
Avoiding the most dangerous fireworks and using some simple common-sense guidelines can help you enjoy the celebration injury free. Here are some guidelines, courtesy of Primary Children’s Hospital KidsHealth website
- Leave the fireworks to professionals. Many communities have beautiful fireworks displays you can enjoy from a safe distance.
2. If you do have home fireworks, follow these safety guidelines:
- Kids should never play with fireworks. Adults should supervise and light all fireworks.
- Do not give children sparklers. Sparklers can reach 1800 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to melt gold.
- Buy only legal fireworks and store them in a cool, dry place.
- Never try to make your own fireworks.
- Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.
- Steer clear of others --- fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone – even in jest.
- Don’t hold fireworks in your hand while lighting.
- Point fireworks away from homes, brush, leaves and flammable substances. (Local fire departments respond to more than 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.)
- Light one firework at a time, and never relight a dud.
- Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.
- Remember small children may become frightened by loud noises. It’s best to keep them indoors during fireworks displays.
- Think about your pets. Animals have sensitive ears and are easily spooked by fireworks. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk they will get injured.
3. If the unthinkable happens – your child is injured by fireworks – here are some suggestions:
- Go immediately to a doctor or hospital.
- Don’t flush an injured eye with water or attempt to put ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, put it around the eye and seek immediate medical attention – your child’s eyesight may depend on it.
- If the injury is a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn. Call your doctor immediately.
The 4th of July should be a fun celebration for the whole family. These simple guidelines will help keep it safe as well as fun.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Safe Kids Worldwide