An estimated 7,000 people in the United States will go to the ER with fireworks-related injuries during the Fourth of July holiday, that’s 233 people a day. This Independence Day, Lakeview Regional Medical Center, a campus of Tulane Medical Center, encourages the community to prevent fireworks accidents by practicing common sense and following basic safety rules.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as many as 1,400 injuries are related to sparklers during the month of July. “Many people don’t realize that sparklers can be just as dangerous as other fireworks,” says Danielle Tranchina, Nurse Practitioner. “They can burn at temperatures up to 1800 degrees and can quickly light clothing or hair on fire. So, it’s extremely important to keep a close eye on children in particular.”
In 2014, the most recent year reported, there were 10,500 fireworks-related injuries in the United States. Fifty-five percent of those were to the hands and face, and 35 percent of injuries occurred in children under the age of 15. Many of these injuries could have been prevented with proper safety equipment and adult supervision.
To avoid injury from sparklers and fireworks, the experts at Lakeview Regional recommend following these guidelines:
- Buy only legal fireworks, and read the cautionary labels on your fireworks before use.
- Don’t buy anything packaged in brown paper, because these are likely professional-grade fireworks that can be dangerous to consumers.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks, and always keep a hose or bucket of water nearby.
- Don’t use alcohol when using fireworks.
- Only light one firework at a time, then move away.
- Never try to relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes before approaching the firework, then soak it in water overnight before disposing of it.
- Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers.
- Never give fireworks to children. Don’t let small children light or get close to fireworks when lit.
Danielle Tranchina and partner Dr. Richard Sanders are the only primary care physicians in the Lacombe community. They are currently accepting new patients.