The Fourth of July is a time for celebration across the country, and here in the Grand Cities area, fireworks are a crowd favorite each year. While fireworks can be fun to watch, they can sometimes be dangerous.
The most recent available data shows that in 2010, an estimated 3,400 children ages 15 and under had injuries involving fireworks .Children and teenagers are the most likely people to be injured as a result of consumer fireworks. Following is a picture of the most common areas of injury to young children. This information has been provided by the CPSC.
Children under 15 years old account for 39 percent of the estimated fireworks injuries.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them at a community event where professionals handle them. Safe Kids also recommends that adults never use fireworks when children are present.
The United States Fire Administration reminds us that kids should never play with fireworks or sparklers. Sparklers are designed to throw off showers of hot sparks These sparks can reach 1,200° Fahrenheit- hot enough to melt some metals.
A fun alternative is to let your child use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.
Do not allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing.
Teach your children how to call 911 in an emergency. Also teach them what to do if their clothing catches on fire – ‘stop, drop and roll’. If fireworks are being used, it is important to check out the ground conditions in the area so that it is not dry and could easily catch on fire or that there are not objects such as boat lift covers, tents or other items that could combust. Make sure to have a bucket of water handy to extinguish any fires and to assure your fireworks are “out” after use.
Where permitted by law, fireworks should be handled and used in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and all warning labels. Safe Kids urges families to not use fireworks and to view professional, public fireworks displays instead.
Enjoy your holidays, have fun in the sun but be sure to BE SAFE. For more information on fireworks safety or other childhood injury prevention topics, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at firstname.lastname@example.org . Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.