Avoid Injuries During Fourth of July Celebrations

For many, summer celebrations aren’t complete without fireworks. Whether you’ll be watching a show from afar or setting off fireworks yourself, it’s important to take steps to avoid injuries and make your festivities as safe as possible.

In 2017, eight people were killed and more than 12,000 were seriously injured in fireworks-related accidents, according to the National Safety Council. To avoid such injuries, consider taking the following precautions when setting off fireworks.

Proper Fireworks Safety

  • Children should never handle fireworks. Of those injured in 2017 by fireworks-related incidents, 50 percent involved children and young adults.
  • Although sparklers might seem less dangerous, they are the leading cause of fireworks-related injuries and can reach temperatures up to 1,800°F.
  • Avoid picking up fireworks after an event. They may still be ignited and could cause serious injuries.
  • Never hold fireworks or stand over them while igniting.
  • Wear eye protection if available.

What to Do If You Are Burned

If you are burned by fireworks, you should use a mild soap and lukewarm water to clean the affected area. Coat the wound with petroleum ointment and keep it covered.

When to Seek Medical Attention

According to The American Burn Association:

  • Seek medical care immediately if the wound is larger than the palm of your hand.
  • If the burn has not healed after seven days, it is urgent to consult a health care provider.
  • If a burn occurs to the face, groin, ears, feet or hands, it should be evaluated by a physician.
  • If you are experiencing signs of an infection, including increasing pain, fever or redness, seek medical attention. 
  • Third-degree burns are more serious than a blister, and typically become brown or black discoloration and require medical attention.

Anyone experiencing fireworks-related burns or injuries should call 911 or visit their nearest emergency or express care site.