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Common Fireworks Iniuries and How to Prevent Them

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Eastern Idaho Regional Medical ... Page 1 of 4
Common Fireworks In uries and How to
Prevent Them
The 4th of July is supposed to be a celebration, but instead thousands of people are finding themselves
nursing injuries.
It may seem harmless to buy a few sparklers, some roman candles and a rocket or two to celebrate the
holiday, but it's important to handle fireworks safely.
If you're planning to skip the public fireworks shows and do your own, make sure that having
firelvorks in
your
area is legal. Don't break the law for a few fireworks.
In fact, your community's professional fireworks show is probably your safest bet anyway, says the
National Council of Fireworks.
Whether you do it yourself or attend a public show, here are a few ways to make sure your fireworks
display on the 4th of July is injury-free.
Fireworks Cause Burns and Blazes
Firer.r'orks get increciibly hot, reaching temperatures of over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. By the way,
glass melts at 900 degrees and wood burns at 575 degrees Fahrenheit,
just
to give you an idea of how
hot that really is, according to the National Firework Protection Association.
LighLiJl tirerryorks_ irt anns length, and never hover over them. You want to wear long sleeves and
pants to protect your skin, and goggles to protect your eyes, says the Fireworks Alliance. Also, leave
the sandals and flip-flops at home. You'll need to shoes that cover your feet to prevent bums or
just
in
case you have to run to safety.
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Common Fireworks Iniuries and How to Prevent Them
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Eastern Idaho Regional Medical ... Page 2 of 4
IJ.S. Consumer Product Saf'etrr Cornmissian 2012 Firervclrks Afuruiil Report
I'jever touch or try to reignite a lirer.vork that didn't tull.v ignite. Sparks might fly when you touch dud
fireworks. Wait about 20 minutes and then soak them in water, says the Fireworks Alliance.
The Spark in Your Eyes
Fireworks can also cause severe eye injuries. About 1,40{J people srltl-er
lignl_burns.
abrasion$...And
*i-rts 1o lheir e),es each
"r'ear
when fireworks debris punctures the eye, according to the American
Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.
In fact, some of the most severe injuries happen to your eyes. lf
,vou
ciecide 1o attenri a fir"er,r,-orks
show, stay behind the area's barriers, which should be set at least 500 feet away, according to the
American Academy of Ophthalmology.
If you or a child gets an e,ve iniury tiom firer.vorks, get to the doctor immediately.
Do not:
.
Rub your eyes
.
Rinse your eyes
.
Add pressure
.
Remove an object if it's stuck in your eye
.
Apply ointment
.
Take aspirin or ibuprofen because it's a blood thinner and could cause bleeding
Keeping Kids Safe
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Common Fireworks Iniuries and How to Prevent Them
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Eastern Idaho Regional Medical ... Page 3 of 4
ource:
.1'he
National liire Protection Association, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Man-v of the people iniurecl h-y flreworks are kicls. Children 5 years old and younger account for about
500 injuries and children aged 5-14 account for about 1,500, says a 2013 report from the Consumer
Product Safety Commission.
Even though they light up and make noise, fireworks are not toys and can seriously hurt your children
and you.
Younger children shor:lc1n't pl;i)'r,vith firervorks. And parents or another responsible adult need to
supervise teenagers when they are handling fireworks, says the National Council of Fireworks.
Teach children thzrt li:lowing. pointing or waving sparklers at other people is out of the qLresti*n.
Someone could easily get burned this way, the Council says.
Fireworks Are Fire-Starters
N,{ore llres happen on Indepenclence Day than arn}' other da}' out of the year .In 2011, there were
17,800 fires started from fireworks alone, says the National Fire Protection Association.
The best way to prevent a building fire is to not light lirervorks close to.a building. That way sparks
can't fly onto flammable material and ignite. When you are done with fireworks, thoroughly
extinguish them so they won't catch fire again. Place them with a bucket of water or douse them with
water using a water hose, says the Fireworks Alliance.
Safety First
July 4th is a time to enjoy yourself, not be sitting in the doctor's office with an injury. Fun is
important but safety comes first.
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Common Fireworks Iniuries.and How to Prevent Them
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Eastern Idaho Regional Medical ... Page 4 af 4
If you or a member of your family does end up with an injury from fireworks,lllRMC's Flmergency
Department is here to help. Remember, you can te.xt
"'ER"
to 23000 to find out our average ER rvait
timcs.
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7ll0l20l4

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