It’s almost time to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day with family and friends, good old fashion hamburgers, and of course, fireworks. Unfortunately, Fourth of July celebrations often end with injuries due to unsafe firework handling. Severe burns, amputations, blindness and in some cases, deaths can turn a joyful celebration to a medical nightmare. Keep your loved ones injury free this holiday by following several safety tips.
- Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Keep a supply of water close-by as a precaution.
- Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
- Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
- Have a first aid kit and a burn kit on hand
- Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
- Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
- Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
Before using fireworks, make sure they are permitted in your area. Keep in mind, illegal fireworks are often the cause of severe injuries and fires. These banned fireworks include large reloadable mortar shells, cherry bombs, aerial bombs, M-80 salutes, and larger firecrackers containing more than two grains of powder. Individuals found in possession of, or using, illegal fireworks can face fines, penalties and/or arrest. By taking extra precautions, using wise judgment and obeying the laws, your Fourth of July celebration will go off with a bang!