Throughout the summer, and especially on the Fourth of July, fireworks are a staple in the lives of many families but it can be a dangerous tradition. Families need to know all fireworks can be dangerous, even in the hands of professionals.
Experts say the best way for parents to keep their kids safe this Fourth of July is to avoid directly handling fire-related devices.
Avoiding fire-related devices means avoiding all fireworks, of course, but also things like sparklers too. Sparklers, which some parents think are the safe way to go, are actually anything but safe.
They can burn up to 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals, and are the number one reason for emergency room visits around the Fourth of July.
Celebrate. Have fun. But leave the fireworks show to those who handle them for a living.
In an emailed press release from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, James Fortenberry, M.D., Director of Critical Care Medicine and Pediatrician-in-Chief at this pediatric hospital is quoted as saying, "The Fourth of July is an occasion to celebrate outdoors and spend time with family, but nothing ruins a party like a trip to the emergency room. With the long list of local professional firework displays available, there's no reason to risk life-threatening injuries and burns by putting on your own show. Leave the fireworks to trained professionals."
While the fireworks injuries might not make the 5 O'clock News on the Fourth of July, in the weeks surrounding the holiday about 200 people visit emergency rooms across the country with fireworks-related injuries. A total of 9,000 people will get hurt because of fireworks.
However, the Fourth of July is not the only time fireworks injuries are reported. In fact, 43 percent of them happen during the rest of the year, outside of the 4th of July celebrations.
Children, ages 5-14, are at the greatest risk for suffering a fireworks-related injury. This group has more than twice the risk of injury than the general public. Of all the fireworks-related injuries that occur, children under the age of 15 years account for 39 percent of them.