CHICAGO – Along with the barbecues, family and fun associated with the Fourth of July, the National Fire Protection Association wants people to remember that fireworks involve many risks, including extreme burns, fires, and even death.
12,900 people were treated in emergency rooms for firework-related injuries in 2017 – nearly one-third of those cases involved children under 15 years old, according to an NFPA report using data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Here are some tips to help keep you and your children safe this holiday.
The No. 1 tip from the NFPA is to not set off your own fireworks but rather go to a public show put on by experts. It is suggested that people do not use consumer fireworks, and if fireworks are being set off, to keep a close eye on children that are nearby.
Sparklers also cause about one-quarter of emergency room visits for firework injuries. Although sparklers may seem less dangerous than fireworks, they can reach a temperature of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
According to the National Council on Fireworks Safety, if fireworks are being used by consumers, a responsible adult should supervise all activities and keep the area clear of children, pets and teens.
Be sure to read all cautionary labels before lighting off fireworks and wear safety googles when shooting them off. Additionally, it is suggested that even if a firework does not light right away, do not consider it a “dud.” Instead, wait 20 minutes before approaching it and then douse it in a bucket of water to avoid an unexpected explosion.