5 tips for fireworks safety:
With the Fourth of July holiday quickly approaching, we know you and your family might want to enjoy some fireworks. This holiday should be a fun time for the family to get together and enjoy a patriotic celebration, not a trip to the emergency department. This Fourth of July remember that safety should be the top priority! Fireworks can cause serious injuries including burns, fires, blindness and even death.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,100 people for fireworks related injuries in 2018.
36% of those fireworks injuries were to children under the age of 15.
Every year, Dayton Children’s sees a few children around this time of year for injuries related to at-home fireworks including sparklers and bottle rockets.
Due to current gathering restrictions many professional fireworks displays are cancelled this year. Purchasing and setting off your own fireworks is still not a safe way to celebrate the holiday. It is illegal in the state of Ohio to use fireworks except those that only smoke.
“Kids should never play with fireworks,” says Abbey Pettiford, injury prevention coordinator at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “Sparklers and other fireworks can be extremely dangerous. If you do choose to use them, make sure to keep them outside and away from the face, clothing and hair.”
5 tips for fireworks safety:
- Leave it to the professionals: Even though firework displays may be cancelled this year, it is still best to let the professionals handle the fireworks. Some communities put on public firework displays for families to come and enjoy. Make plans to attend a public firework display rather than trying to put one on yourself.
- Use glow sticks instead of sparklers. Our little ones have arms that are too short to hold sparklers which can cause them to hold sparklers way too close to their face. Sparklers can heat up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit – HOT! Try substituting glow sticks for sparklers. These can be just as fun and won’t get so hot.
- Be educated. If you decide to light fireworks at home, make sure you know what you’re doing!
- Don’t wear loose clothing
- Never light fireworks inside
- Make sure that you point fireworks away from homes, people and anything flammable like brush, leaves and dry grass.
- Don’t let kids play with them!
- Keep a safe distance. Make sure that everyone is a safe distance away from where the fireworks are being lit. If something is lit and it doesn’t go off, do not try to investigate it. Instead, keep a bucket of water nearby to dump on it and to make sure that the firework doesn’t go off later.
- Be prepared. If you are going to let off fireworks at home, make sure that you:
- Have a fire extinguisher close by and know how to work it just in case fire happens.
- Teach your child how to call 911 in case of an emergency.
To learn more about Ohio law and firework safety check out Ohio Prevent Blindness