CALDWELL- This Independence Day, West Valley Medical Center encourages you to prevent fireworks accidents by practicing common sense and following basic safety rules.
The Consumer Product and Safety Commission estimates that on average, 7,000 people across the nation visit the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries during the month of July.
"We had a few patients treated for burn related injuries over the holiday in 2018. Many people don't realize that sparklers can be just as dangerous as other fireworks," said Justin Sempsrott, West Valley Emergency Department Medical Director. "Sparklers can burn at temperatures of over 2,000 degrees and can quickly light clothing or hair on fire. It's important for parents to keep this in mind - adult supervision is key."
To avoid injury from sparklers and fireworks, Sempsrott recommends following these safety tips when using fireworks:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
If an adult or child is injured by fireworks, immediately call 911 or see a doctor, or go to the hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause more damage. If it's a burn, remove clothing from the burned area then run cool, not cold, water over the burn, and call 911 or see a doctor, or go the hospital.