According to a July 2018
Insurance Journal article: At least eight people lost their lives in fireworks mishaps in 2017 while
another 12,900 ended up in hospital emergency rooms with injuries.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
reports that on average 180 people a day visit Emergency Departments in the nation
with fireworks-related injuries in the days leading up to the Independence
Day celebration. Check out the most common injured body parts below.
Today I’d like to talk about firework safety.
First: It’s important that you know you should closely supervise
children around fireworks at all times. If your child is injured by fireworks,
immediately go to your
urgent care or
As we have reported
earlier, fireworks can result in severe burns, blindness, scars, and even death,
according to the
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Fireworks that are often thought to be safe, such as sparklers,
burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees (hot enough to melt some metals)
and can burn users and bystanders in an instant—even while being
Fireworks can also be a leading cause of house fires and are attributed
to many prairie fires each year.
Bottle rockets are out-of-control from the moment they are lit, taking
erratic and unpredictable paths, and account for half of firework-related
eye injuries. They account for an even greater proportion of those resulting
in permanent blindness. A 1995
study of data from the United States Eye Injury Registry, which includes only
very serious eye trauma, showed that bottle rockets caused almost 60%
of firework-related eye injuries, and about 70 % of firework eye injuries
Be sure out check out
Fireworks: The Blinding Truth put together by the
American Academy of Ophthalmology, and
review their safety tips here.
The AAP recommends that families should consider attending community fireworks
displays run by professionals rather than using fireworks at home. On
July 4 in Campbell County, Wyoming, the
Fireworks Display begins at 10 pm, and is held at CAM-PLEX.
However, if you must shoot fireworks off personally, check out these tips
provided by the
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks without adult
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when
lighting the fuse.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Keep a fire extinguisher, bucket of water or a hose handy when shooting
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty
of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent fire.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is
often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and
that they could pose a danger to consumers.
My recommendation is to enjoy professional fireworks displays and skip
personal fireworks and the risks associated.
Deanna L. Lassegard, MD, is an
Emergency Physician at
Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette, Wyoming. Our resident safety expert, Dr. Lassegard writes
monthly Simple Safety blogs for Campbell County Health. Check them out at