Monday, June 29, 2009
Fireworks are part of many Fourth of July celebrations. Unfortunately, roughly two-thirds of injuries from fireworks in the U.S. occur in the days surrounding the July Fourth holiday. Children 14 years and younger sustained about 50% of the injuries, 23% of which happen to children under the age of five. Injuries are commonly associated with sparklers, fire-crackers and rockets.
Sparklers, considered by many the ideal "safe" firework for the young, burn up to more that 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and can easily ignite clothing. Fireworks are explosives; they are capable of causing injuries, and they must be treated with respect.
Most people know the "right" way to use bottle rockets and sky rockets, but often times it doesn't stop them from holding them in their hands, pointing them at animals or friends, and so on. One of the safest ways to enjoy the Fourth of July festivities is by enjoying one of the professional displays in your local community.
If you plan on buying fireworks or going to a party where they will be, here are some tips to keep your family safe this holiday.
Do not allow young children to play with fireworks under any circumstances, even with adult supervision. Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close adult supervision. Do not allow any running or horseplay.
Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, dry leaves, or grass and flammable materials.
Be sure other people are out of range. Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that don't go off.
Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
Never ignite fireworks in a container, whether glass, metal or other.
Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.
Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
Don't experiment with homemade fireworks.
If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area and follow all manufacturers’ recommendations and instructions.
Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.