Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wis. – Every year around the Fourth of July it’s estimated 260 million pounds of fireworks are used by Americans, with an additional 285 million pounds used by professionals for community displays, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA).
On average, 180 people go to the emergency room daily with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the Fourth of July holiday, as reported by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals want to remind community members fireworks are fun but can be very dangerous.
“The majority of injuries from fireworks occur to the hands or fingers, legs, face and eyes,” says HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals Director of Emergency Services, Robin Schultz. “We recommend fireworks be left to experts specially trained and certified so you can have a safe and enjoyable holiday.”
If you do decide to use fireworks, HSHS strongly recommends you follow safety tips from CPSC.
10 Fireworks Safety Recommendations
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Always read and follow label instructions.
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Young children can suffer injuries from sparklers, which burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is 20 times the boiling point of water. As a safe alternative to sparklers, use glow sticks.
- Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from houses, dry leaves and flammable materials.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a firework when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting a firework (only light one at a time) and wear eye protection.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them from metal or glass containers.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Soak all spent fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can. Never discard fireworks, including used ones, in a fire pit.
- Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper. This is often a sign they were made for professional use only.
More fireworks safety tips are available on the CPSC website at: cpsc.gov/fireworks
If you or someone you know is injured by a firework and in need of emergency care, call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room immediately. The HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital emergency department in Eau Claire, 900 W. Clairemont Ave, and the HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital emergency department in Chippewa Falls, 2661 Co. Hwy I, are well-prepared to deliver high-quality emergency medical care 24/7.
About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.
About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states - Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.