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A Safety Exploration

Essential tips for enjoying injury-free celebrations this 4th of July and beyond

This summer season, it is essential to prioritize safety to ensure your celebrations remain joyful and accident-free.  While enjoying personal fireworks is often a popular way to celebrate, it’s crucial to handle them with care to prevent injuries.  According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 73% of personal firework injuries occur in the weeks prior to and after the July 4th holiday.  Burns, overwhelmingly to the hands, face and eyes, account for 38% of those outcomes, followed by other eye injuries, bodily lacerations, and hearing damage.  Holding fireworks too long; leaning over fireworks or embers; and flying debris are the culprits to the damage, most often.

Here we highlight safety tips to help you avoid a trip to the ER.

1.  Sparklers

These backyard favorites burn at high temperatures and can cause burns, eye burns or abrasions and clothing fires.   Always supervise children; avoid loose clothing; Hold sparklers at arm’s length and away from face and body; and keep a safe distance from others to avoid contact with the sparks.  Place used sparklers in a bucket of water to ensure they are fully extinguished before disposal

2. Smoke Bombs

At first glance, these may seem harmless, however the smoke can cause eye irritation and, when inhaled, can cause respiratory discomfort or distress.  The casing can become hot and cause burns.  Only use smoke bonds outdoors in well-ventilated areas and stand upwind.  Do NOT hold in hand after lighting and move away quickly when lit.  Douse with water to ensure they are extinguished and before handling them again.

3. Ground Spinners & Wheels

Whether mounted on a post or laying on the ground these spinning crowd pleasers emit sparks and colors when ignited.  Flying sparks may causing eye injury and contact with the hot device or debris can cause burns, cuts or abrasions.  For safe use, ensure the area is free of flammable material and the devices are secure.  Keep a safe distance, immediately after igniting,  and consider utilizing protective eyewear

4. Fountains

These ground-based fireworks emit a shower of sparks and can include various effects such as colors and crackling.  Children should be kept at a safe distance.  Flying sparks can cause skin or cornea burns and other eye injuries as well as ignite nearby flammable materials.  Always place fountains on a flat, stable fire-resistant surface.  Maintain a safe distance after igniting and keep water nearby to extinguish any accidental fires.