As the weather heats up and families migrate outdoors, winter toys are traded in for sunscreen and sand pails. The summer months promise warm days and one of the most anticipated nights of the year: the Fourth of July.
While fireworks are beautiful to watch, they are dangerous to play with. If not handled properly, fireworks can cause severe injuries to eyes and skin. Even just watching a friend light fireworks can put you at risk.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 9,000 fireworks-related injuries happen each year. Of these, nearly half are head-related injuries. Nearly 30 percent of these are injuries to the eyes, one-quarter of which result in permanent vision loss or blindness. Children under the age of 15 account for half of all fireworks eye injuries in the United States.
If you or a friend chooses to handle fireworks, The National Council on Firework Safety offers these tips:
- Use fireworks outdoors only.
- If fireworks aren't legal where you live, don’t use them.
- Always have water handy (hose or bucket).
- Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter or combine them.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
- Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. Have a “designated shooter.”
- Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
- Don’t ever use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.
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.
Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218