Fireworks are fun to watch, exciting to hear, and a wonderful way to mark the Fourth of July. Most people have fond memories of watching a dizzying display of starburst fireworks light up the night sky. Others, unfortunately, may recall a trip to the hospital emergency room because of a fireworks-related injury.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 8,800 people are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for injuries caused by fireworks. More than 50 percent of injuries are to the extremities, while approximately 40 percent of injuries are to the head.

Here are some safety tips to share if you know someone who is planning a fireworks show of their own:

  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area.
  • Children should not be allowed to play with fireworks.
  • Watch children closely when setting off fireworks.
  • Only adults should light fireworks.
  • Keep an extinguisher, hose, or bucket of water nearby.
  • Do not light fireworks inside or near dry vegetation.
  • Do not pick up a firework that has not gone off. Do not try to relight it. Douse it with water and dispose of it.
  • Read the directions on fireworks before setting them off.
  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks.
  • Do not light more than one firework at a time.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothing when lighting fireworks.

Fireworks can cause physical damage in addition to potential personal injury. Fireworks are associated with approximately 18,000 fires annually, including 1,300 structure fires and 400 vehicle fires. More fires in the United States are reported on Independence Day than any other day of the year.

To learn more about fireworks safety, visit the free, online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
214 324-6100

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