Firework Safety Tips for the Fourth of July

Firework Safety Tips for the Fourth of July
July 02, 2020

As we celebrate the 4th of July this holiday weekend, many firework shows in communities have been canceled due to COVID-19. That means individuals may decide to put on their own shows at home. Dr. Elizabeth Powell, Emergency Room physician at Lurie Children’s, warns about the dangers and injuries that​ can be sustained from fireworks.

“Half the injuries associated with fireworks we see are in people younger than 20 years old. So we know that demographic we serve is at high risk. In particular kids between the ages of five and nine who have lots of intertest to participate in home fireworks but don’t really have the skills yet to do so are often most commonly injured,” said Dr. Powell. “We see injuries from bottle rockets to roman candles to sparklers. Because sparklers are so ubiquitous we see more injuries from them. They can get extremely hot, hot enough to melt gold, and cause serve burns.”

If a firework does cause injury such as a burn anywhere besides the eye, Dr. Powell advises to rinse the area with water for at least 15-30 minutes in order to stop the skin from burning.

“A localized, simple blister similar to something you would get from burning yourself on the oven does not need to seek medical attention unless you notice it gets worse over time,” said Dr. Powell.  “Because a child’s skin is thinner than adults they tend to burn more deeply and in that case it’s best to err on the side of caution and seek medical care.”

For an accident-free celebration, follow these safety tips:

  • Glow sticks are a much safer alternative than letting young children use sparklers
  • Keep pets and infants away from loud fireworks displays as the noise can harm their hearing
  • Be aware of surroundings when fireworks are being lit
  • Always point them away from buildings and other people
  • Keep water nearby when lighting fireworks in case a spark turns into a fire
  • Avoid grassy and brush areas

There can never be enough precaution taken, especially on fun, busy holidays.

For more information visit: https://www.safekids.org/safetytips/field_risks/fireworks.