Fourth of July is a time of celebration for America! During this joyous time you and your family can take some steps to be safe, if you decide to light your own fireworks. Unfortunately of the 9,000 fireworks-related injuries each year, 21 percent are eye injuries and more than half of the victims are young children or teenagers. For example:
- A 6-year-old child’s eye was severely injured after he lit an M-80 firework that he found in his home. He called 911 and underwent an immediate cornea transplant and lens replacement, and required several additional eye surgeries.
- A 12-year-old boy forgot to unwrap the fuse of a fountain firework, making the fuse too short. It exploded almost immediately and blew up in his face, seriously injuring his eye.
- After a man lit smoke bombs that created colored smoke, his 4-year-old son leaned in to get a closer look. Tar from the smoke bomb wick shot into the boy’s eye, causing a corneal abrasion. (NewCityPatch)
If these examples are not cautionary examples enough to deter your family from using fireworks I don’t know what is. Please also know that in some states it is not only illegal to use fireworks, but parents are also liable for any damage or injuries caused by their child using fireworks.
It is always safer to attend a fireworks show and to leave the lighting of fireworks to the professionals. However if you do choose to light your own fireworks here are some safety guidelines to follow that may help prevent injury:
- Obey Your States Laws
- Do not allow children to touch fireworks of any kind, including sparklers. (They can cause 3rd degree burns if used improperly)
- Older Children (Teens) should use fireworks under close adult supervision.
- Never drink alcohol or use other drugs while using fireworks.
- Only buy fireworks only from reliable and legit sellers.
- Only use fireworks outdoors.
- Keep a bucket of water close by or a garden hose, just in case of an emergency.
- Follow the fireworks label instructions.
- Light only one firework at a time.
- Make sure people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Never throw or point fireworks at anyone.
- Never light fireworks in a container, especially a metal or glass container.
- Never light fireworks near a house or building, dry leaves or grass, or any other materials that can catch on fire.
- Never re-light a “dud” firework.
Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!!!!!