The 4th of July is a time to celebrate our nation’s independence with friends and family, sharing great food and a game or two of washers and then, of course, watching fireworks in the evening.
Unfortunately, in the United States, fireworks account for over 9,500 fires and more than 9,000 injuries each year. Of those injuries, about half are burns and more than a third are to kids between the ages of 10 and 15 years old.
UTMB Fire and Life Safety Director Chuck Carlisle offers a few tips to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season. A fan of big, professional displays, Chuck recommends attending a locally sponsored fireworks extravaganza. However, if you choose to do your own fireworks, please remember these tips:
- Kids should always be supervised around fireworks. Better yet, keep children—and pets—away from them altogether.
- Those innocent-looking sparklers burn at over 1,000 degrees and account for about a quarter of emergency room visits from burns. They’re really not meant for kids.
- Set off fireworks away from houses, buildings, grass and anything else that can burn.
- Keep a fire extinguisher, a hose or water nearby in case you need it.
- Don’t hold fireworks when lighting them and certainly don’t throw them. They can be unpredictable and can cause serious injuries.
· Don’t reignite fireworks; soak the duds and throw them away.
- When cleaning up, soak the firework remnants before throwing in the trash.
There are fun alternatives for children, such as long-lasting glow sticks, confetti poppers, glowing bubbles, LED wands or Silly String.
Please play it safe and have a Happy 4th of July!
If an injury does occur during your festivities, remember, our Urgent Care and Emergency Room locations are here to care for you. Find a location near you.