The Exchange

Commentary and Observations from
the Medical Front Lines

<a href='/the-exchange/firework-safety-tips'>Firework Safety Tips</a>

Firework Safety Tips

Happy Canada Day (July 1) and Happy 4th of July to all the NPs and PAs!

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 12,900 people were sent to the ER for treatment of firework-related injuries in 2017. Children younger than 15 years old accounted for more than one-third of the injuries, while males were seen the most. Injuries seen in the ER consisted of 54% to extremities and 36% to the head; the estimated cost of the injuries exceeds $100 million dollars annually. Sparklers, firecrackers, and rockets were the top three offenders of firework related injuries seen in the ER. And did you know that sparklers burn hot enough to cause third-degree burns?

As healthcare providers we can educate our patients and the community by providing them with the following tips:

  • Make sure all fireworks are supervised by an adult
    • Keep an eye on children!
    • Read and follow label directions
  • Do not allow children to light fireworks
  • Do not point or throw fireworks at each other
  • Position your body away from fireworks when lighting them
  • Avoid setting off:
    • large groups of fireworks simultaneously, or
    • fireworks in a residential area
  • Never attempt to relight a firework that did not ignite
  • Keep appropriate fire prevention tools nearby, including:
    • a hose,
    • bucket of water, or
    • fire extinguisher
  • Clean up remains as soon as possible
    • Wet them down and place in a metal trash can until the next day
  • Develop an appropriate fire safety plan and make sure everyone is aware of the plan
  • Call 911 immediately if someone is injured from fireworks

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has some resources to share, post, or print out: www.nfpa.org/-/media/Images/Public-Education/By-topic/Fireworks/FireworksInfographic.jpg.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the NFPA continue to urge families not to buy fireworks for their own or children’s use, and to only enjoy displays conducted by trained professionals.

Have a safe holiday!

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