Fireworks are a fascinating and fun part of holiday celebrations throughout the country. Unfortunately, this popular tradition is also associated with injuries that are all too common among both adults and children. Each year, it is estimated that over 10,000 fireworks-related injuries occur in the United States and at least 40% of these injuries involve the arm, hand, and fingers.
It’s hard to imagine a Fourth of July holiday without fireworks. It’s an American tradition that’s both fun and exciting, but fireworks can be dangerous. Here’s why.
Fireworks can explode unexpectedly and can even go off in the wrong direction sometimes. It’s also hard to gauge exactly how large an explosion may be, especially with illegal fireworks. If a firework explodes in your hand, you could lose your hand completely.
Sometimes, you may come across a firework that is a “dud.” If this occurs, do not attempt to relight the firework. Instead, wait 20 minutes after the initial attempt, then place the firework in a bucket of water.
Firework-related injuries can range from burns to complete loss of the hand and fingers. While the best choice is to attend public fireworks displays rather than setting off fireworks near or around the home, take the following precautions when around fireworks:
- Obey safety barriers around a fireworks show and stay 500 feet from the launch site.
- Supervise teens when using fireworks.
- Wear eye protection when using fireworks.
- Read the labels and instructions before using fireworks at home.
- Remain standing when using sparklers.
- Soak used fireworks in water before throwing in a trash bag.
- Do not use fireworks indoors.
- Do not try to relight a “dud” firework.
- Do not touch fireworks debris. It may still be hot.