Fireworks are a staple in Fourth of July celebrations, but it may be best to leave this tradition to the experts. According to a report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved in an estimated 8,700 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2012. The vast majority of these injuries, approximately 5,200, occurred between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012. Even sparklers, which are often handed out to children, burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees which is hot enough to melt some metals.
Take a look at these statistics:
Good alternatives to “at home” fireworks include glow sticks and professionally run firework displays. Here is a list of some local displays that your family may enjoy: http://detroit.about.com/od/familyactivities/tp/detroitfireworks.htm
If you do choose to use home fireworks, keep these tips in mind:
- Read warning labels and follow all instructions.
- Light off fireworks one at a time.
- Be aware that sparklers, often thought to be “safe” for children, burn at an extremely high temperature. Ensure that an adult is supervising children at all times for proper use, and that they are holding them as far away from their body and eyes as possible.
- Wear protective eye wear and rubber soled shoes.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby for extinguishing all fireworks and for those that fail to ignite. Never attempt to relight a failed firework.
- Never light fireworks off in a container made of glass or metal.
- Make sure the area is clear of people, homes and flammable materials such as dry grass and leaves before lighting off fireworks.
—Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Beaumont Health System