The celebration of 4th of July would definitely not be the same without a smell of the barbecue, parades, and fireworks. While fireworks are a great way to celebrate the holiday, it’s important that everyone is aware of the rules in order to keep safe. Even the smallest of fireworks can be dangerous.
If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burns, lacerations, and even partial finger amputations. Over 30 percent of 5,200 injuries from fireworks each year happen to children. Most of these injuries are from sparklers, novelty devices, and aerial devices. Often the best way to protect your family is not use any fireworks at home but attend a local public firework display.
Keep your family safe this 4th of July with this important advice, especially if you plan at celebrating with fireworks at home.
Celebrating at home
If you plan on celebrating the holiday at home, consider a few safety guidelines:
- Check with your local laws and regulations. Be sure to check that using fireworks is not banned within your area or that the fireworks you are going to be using are legal. It’s best to only buy legal fireworks that have a label with manufacturer’s name and directions; illegal ones will be unlabeled.
- Don’t let kids touch or light fireworks. Some fireworks might seem harmless but they can cause serious injury if not properly handled.
- Plan ahead. You can easily have fun with fireworks if you prepare. Make sure you have a bucket of water or garden hose ready. Light fireworks one at a time and never get close or to relight a firework if it does not go off.
- Be smart! It’s best to not throw fireworks or point them at another person, not even as a joke!
- Prevent fires. Before throwing away of the fireworks after being used, it’s but to dose them with some water in a bucket or hose and then discarding them into the trash.
- Create a safety zone. Don’t trust your children to stay away from the fireworks going off. You can keep them safe by creating a safety zone behind a fence or roped off area. You may even consider setting off the fireworks outside while they are inside the home.
Take the necessary precautions:
- Do not wear loos clothing.
- Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass areas.
- Point fireworks away from houses and keep away from brush, leaves, and flammable substances.
Celebrating at a fireworks show
When you are heading to the local fireworks display with the kids, check first to make sure the show is regulated. Also consider a few safety guidelines before you go:
- Stay within the safety zone. Never try to get a better view from a closer area than the designated crowd area.
- Prepare the children. Be sure to explain to the kids about fireworks. Some of them might not be used to the loud noises or become anxious. It’s always best to let them know what to expect so they can enjoy the celebration!
- Make a plan B. Sometimes even fireworks can still be scary after you explain to them what is going to happen. Make a plan B by sitting near the park exit if you need to make a quick getaway. You can even bring a mobile phone or tablet that has kid-friendly apps and kid-safe headphones to keep your child distracted if they are scared.
If an injury occurs
If a child or someone becomes injured by fireworks, immediately go to the doctor or hospital.
- Don’t let your child touch or rub the eye injury as this can cause more damage.
- Do not flush the eye out with water or try to put any treatment on it, such as ointment or eye drops.
- Cut out the bottom of a paper cup and place it around the eye. Make sure the cup is held there until you get medical care. It’s important you immediately get care right away as the injury could be possibly life damaging.
- Remove clothing from the burned area.
- Run the injured area under cool water (not ice water) to relieve the pain and reduce the heat. Apply antibiotic ointment and loosely bandage the area with a clean gauze.
- Second-degree burns will have blistering, swollen skin, and significant pain.
- More serious second and third degree burns require ER evaluation, be sure to call emergency services.
- Be sure to immediately call your doctor in regards to the burned injury if emergency services are not required to schedule an appointment if necessary.
Enjoying fireworks and relaxing is all part of the summer fun and celebration on the 4th of July. Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed. You’ll enjoy the celebration even more much knowing your family is safe.