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Fireworks are fun to watch, exciting to hear, and a wonderful way to mark a special occasion. 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 9,600 people are treated annually for injuries caused by fireworks. More than 45 percent of injuries are to the hand or finger, and 17 percent to the eye. One-fourth of fireworks accident victims are children under the age of 15, and men account for slightly more than two-thirds of fireworks injuries.

The safest way to watch fireworks is at a professional show, not by setting off fireworks at home. When viewing a fireworks display, respect the safety barriers and select a safe viewing distance of at least 500 feet away. If you know someone who is planning a fireworks show of their own, you may want to share these safety tips:

  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area.
  • Children should not be allowed to play with fireworks.
  • Watch children closely when setting off 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.

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

Photo credit: Photodisc/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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