by Kimberly Blaker
Freelance Lifestyle Writer
Our Kids San Antonio, July 2017
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Fireworks Dos and Don’ts Safety Tips – No Playing Around
According to the results of a Special Study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for the year 2015, fireworks related injuries are on the rise. This is despite consumer education about the dangers. In 2015 alone, there were 11,900 injuries involving fireworks treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. Eight thousand of these occurred in the 1-month period surrounding the 4th of July. In addition, there were 11 fatalities.
Boys had a somewhat higher rate of injuries than girls, 61% to 39% respectively. The groups with the highest rate of emergency room treated injuries aged 15 to19. This was followed by 5 to 9-year-olds. Still, children in other age groups suffer a fair share of injuries each year as well. Adults over 25 constitute 46% of fireworks related injuries.
The Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, coordinated by the National Fire Protection Association urges the public to play it safe and forego the use of fireworks and instead enjoy fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals. This seems like sound advice. Still, it isn’t a recommendation everyone will abide by.
So keep in mind the following fireworks dos and don’ts recommended by such organizations as The National Council on Fireworks Safety, SafeKids.org, and the National Safety Council:
- Abide by local laws regarding fireworks.
- Read all information that comes with the fireworks before igniting them. If none is available, research online.
- Don’t allow young children to handle fireworks. Sparklers heat up to 2,000 degrees and are responsible for serious injuries every year.
- Always closely supervise older children using fireworks.
- Have a hose or bucket of water nearby in case of fire or to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off.
- Never try to re-light a firework that doesn’t work. Wait 20 minutes then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Never shoot them out of glass or metal containers.
- Don’t use homemade fireworks.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting them off.
- Don’t carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Never aim fireworks at another person or animal.
- Light them one at a time and then move away quickly.
- Don’t drink or use drugs prior to or while igniting fireworks.
- Let off fireworks only in clear areas away from buildings and vehicles.
- Keep fireworks stored in a cool place.
- Keep pets and animals away from the sound of the fireworks.
Fireworks Dos and Don’ts – No Pranks
Finally, camera phones and the popularity of social media has encouraged fireworks pranks. Kids, and even sometimes adults, think they can safely prank a friend or family member by igniting a firework in close proximity. The risk of injury is high with pranks. Make sure children and teens understand the danger these pranks pose and that pranks should not be attempted under any circumstances.
Kimberly Blaker is a freelance lifestyle writer and family writer