Summer celebrations are underway including cookouts, family reunions and other outdoor activities. With the Fourth of July around the corner, your celebration plans could include fireworks. Celebrations can quickly turn to tragedy if the proper safety measures are not taken when using fireworks and sparklers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that 8,600 individuals were treated in the United States for firework-related injuries in 2010.
“The good news is that these injuries are 100 percent preventable,” said Dr. Hickerson. “By far, the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend an outdoor public display put on by specially trained professionals.”
Fireworks pose a serious injury risk to anyone using them, and they should not be used by children under any circumstances. This includes sparklers, which many people erroneously consider a safer alternative to fireworks. During the excitement of Fourth of July celebrations, it is easy to overlook their hazards, especially with children.
“Parents often do not realize that children can suffer serious injuries from sparklers,” said Dr. William Hickerson, Medical Director at Firefighters Regional Burn Center. “Sparklers can exceed 1,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals, and the sparkler wire remains hot long after the flame has extinguished.”
The staff at Firefighters Regional Burn Center, a full service burn center housed at Regional Medical Center at Memphis, knows all too well how a life-altering burn injury can happen in a matter of seconds. The Burn Center offers the following tips for preventing firework injuries: