The National Council on Fireworks Safety is urging Americans to take extra care when celebrating with fireworks this Fourth of July.
For most Americans, the celebration is a time for food, fun and fireworks, but in 2012 nearly 10,000 Americans were treated in emergency rooms for firework-related injuries. Burns were the most common, accounting for more than half of the incidents. The parts of the body most often injured were hands, eyes and legs. About 30 to 33 percent of the injuries associated with fireworks have been caused by illegal explosives or homemade fireworks.
The NCFS recommends the following safety tips:
- Always read and follow label directions
- Have an adult supervise all fireworks activities
- Ignite outdoors, away from buildings and vehicles
- Keep a bucket of water handy
- Never reignite malfunctioning fireworks
- The fireworks shooter should wear eye protection
- Avoid leaning over the firework
- The safest way to spend Fourth of July is to watch a fireworks show rather than shooting off fireworks.
- Sparklers culprit of July 4th injuries to children under 6
- Sparklers should be used under close adult supervision
- Remain standing while using sparklers
- Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers
- Never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time
- Wear closed-toe shoes when using sparklers
- Drop spent sparklers into a bucket of water; the wire and stick remain hot long after the flame has gone out
- Never hand a lighted sparkler to another person
- Stand at least six feet from others while using sparklers
- Never throw sparklers
- Show children how to hold sparklers at arm’s length
- Avoid waving sparklers or running while holding one
For more information on firework safety, go to http://fireworkssafety.org.