Though fireworks are exciting, festive and fun, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals want to remind community members that fireworks can also be dangerous.
The National Safety Council recommends that it is best to leave fireworks to the experts. However, if you do decide to use fireworks this summer, the two hospitals recommend the following firework safety tips to ensure you and your family have a safe yet fun Fourth of July this year:
• Children should never play with fireworks. Firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers can be extremely dangerous if not used properly. If you give sparklers to kids, make sure they keep them outside and away from their faces, clothing and hair.
• Store properly and buy legally. Buy only legal fireworks and store them in a cool, dry place. Remember: fireworks in brown paper packaging are intended for professional displays, not home use.
• Don’t DIY. Never try to make your own fireworks.
• Be prepared. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby.
• Keep a distance. Steer clear of others and never throw or point fireworks at someone.
• Take precautions. Don't hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket.
• Know your surroundings. Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brushes, leaves and other flammable substances.
• Quality, not quantity. Light one firework at a time and never relight a dud.
• Fireworks stay hot. Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event as they may still be hot.
• Make sure the fire is out. Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.
• Know the law. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
“If an adult or child is injured by fireworks, immediately call or go to Urgent Care,” said Regi Geissler, Trauma Program Coordinator at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “If an eye injury occurs, don't touch or rub it, as this may cause more damage. If it's a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn and then call your doctor immediately.”