Prevention Center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital urges safety during this week’s
One of the most traditional
signs of Fourth of July here in Rhode Island is the array of fireworks displays
seen pleasing crowds across the state. While fun to watch, fireworks also pose
danger for those setting them off and those around them. The Injury Prevention
Center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital is encouraging families to help prevent
avoidable injuries during the festivities this July, and leave the fireworks to
the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, in the period from June 21 to July 21 in 2013, an
average of 240 people nationally visited the emergency room each day with fireworks related injuries. Forty
percent of those injuries were to children
younger than 15, and more than 50 percent were individuals younger than 20.
third of all the fireworks injuries reported in 2013 were caused by handheld sparkler
type fireworks,” said Dina Morrissey, MD, MPH, program coordinator for the
Injury Prevention Center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “We need to be mindful
that it’s not the big, explosive fireworks that are sending the most people to
the emergency room, but rather those that seem smaller and “safer” to most
people, which is absolutely not the case.”
The United States Fire
Administration warns that children should never play with fireworks or
sparklers. Sparklers can reach 2,000° Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt
some types of metal. Children should never be allowed to pick up pieces of
fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any
the fireworks injuries reported in 2013, 36 percent were injuries to the hands
and fingers, 22 percent were head, face and ear injuries and 16 percent were
eye injuries. Sixty-two percent of all the fireworks injuries were burns.
including sparklers and flares, may 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,’” said Morrissey.
Injury Prevention Center recommends that families avoid setting off their own
fireworks and instead enjoy a professional, public display. But, Morrissey offers
the following tips for fireworks safety for those who decide to purchase
- Read all warnings and follow the instructions on fireworks' packages.
- Stay away from
fireworks that aren't clearly
labeled with the name of the
item, the manufacturer's name
and instructions for proper use.
- Make sure there is a
responsible adult present when lighting fireworks.
- If you've been drinking alcohol, don't
- Don't hold sparklers. Instead, put them in the ground.
- Never carry
fireworks in your pocket.
- Don't put any type of fireworks or flammables near
children. Sparklers can get as
hot as 2,000 degrees.
- Be sure other people
and pets are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Only light fireworks in
a cool place, on a smooth, flat
surface away from buildings, dry leaves and flammable materials.
- Never re-light
fireworks that have not fully
- Never light
fireworks that look defective.
- Keep a bucket of
water handy, and soak used
fireworks for at least 10 minutes after igniting.
- Wear safety goggles when handling pyrotechnics.
- Never attempt to
make your own fireworks and do
not purchase or use any kits sold for making fireworks.
For more information about
fireworks safety and burn prevention, please visit http://www.rhodeislandhospital.org/fireworks