Ooooooooooh! Aaaaaaaaaaah! Summer is in full swing, which means Fourth of July fireworks aren’t far away. While driving this past weekend, I was astonished by the number of billboards advertising fireworks. Little did I know, consumer firework consumption has increased by 920 percent since 1976. When it comes to my family and I, I’ve always left fireworks to the professionals since this is the best way to stay safe. It is estimated there are nearly 10,000 firework-related injuries requiring emergency room visits every year. Common sense dictates many of the firework safety precautions. Here is a nice safety test to review before using fireworks:
While most of us would agree that consumer fireworks are scary for general public use, even some of the simpler fireworks such as firecrackers and sparklers can be quite dangerous. Did you know that sparklers are able to reach a temperature of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit?
Fire damage is also a potential consequence of fireworks. The National Fire Protection Association estimates over 50,000 fires every year are caused by fireworks. It is a good idea to have a bucket of water or hose nearby as well as definitely keeping fireworks away from dry brush or other flammable materials.
Finally, here is some information on what to do if an injury should happen. Most burn injuries are best treated with cool water. Eye wounds can be especially dangerous. If an eye injury does occur, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. If you are unsure of the best way to treat an injury, Affinity NurseDirect, available 24/7 at 1-800-362-9900, is a great resource for injury care advice.
For more information on firework safety, check out this article from Kids Health http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/fireworks.html or this video from the National Council on Firework Safety http://www.fireworksafety.com/safety_video.html.
Dr. Tim Marsho is a pediatrician with Affinity Medical Group practicing at the Deerwood clinic in Neenah. He is a third generation doctor, holding specialized certifications in pediatric advanced life support and neonatal resuscitation, and is the father of two young children.
Dr. Marsho’s favorite fireworks display is done in Elkhart Lake, Wis.