Fireworks: Play It Safe

fireworks safety

Around this time of year, Americans everywhere are usually exposed to the warnings and precautions about handling fireworks. It’s easy to turn a deaf ear, especially if you have never had an accident. But, the fact is, injuries due to the mishandling of fireworks still occur and until they cease altogether, the need to spread the word about fireworks safety is still very valid and necessary.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 4,000 children age 14 and under are treated in emergency rooms across the United States for fireworks related injuries every year. Children ages 10 to 14 account for the majority of these incidents. Children ages 4 and under are at the highest risk for sparkler related injuries. So that you might have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July, the National Safe Kids Campaign recommends the following safety guidelines:

  • Only adults should handle fireworks. Tell children that they should leave the area immediately if their friends are using fireworks. Never give a sparkler or any other firework to a child.
  • Discuss safety procedures with your children. Teach them “stop, drop, and roll”. Make sure they know how to call 911. Show them how to put out fireworks by using water or a fire extinguisher.
  • Buy from reputable sellers.
  • Always have a bucket of water or garden hose handy.
  • Make sure you follow directions.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them in metal or glass containers.
  • Never relight a “dud” (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.)

The best way to prevent injury from fireworks is to attend a public fireworks display. But, if you choose to privately use fireworks, make sure you know the local laws concerning the use of fireworks and use extreme caution if there are children present.