For injuries associated with fireworks, children 10 to 14 years old had the highest per capita injury rate.
The Fourth of July is a great time for cookouts, gatherings of family and friends and public fireworks. But if you plan on setting off your own fireworks, you may end up with unpleasant memories of a hospital emergency room.
Although consumer fireworks are legal in many states, all fireworks are hazardous and can cause injury. Some fireworks, such as illegal firecracker type devices (M-80's, quarter sticks) and professional display fireworks, should never be used or handled by consumers due to serious injuries and deaths that can and do occur.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that in 2007 about 9,800 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks. More than half the injuries were burns and most of the injuries involved the hands, eyes, and legs. Children 10 to 14 years old had the highest per capita injury rate among all age groups.
No sparklers for young kids.
Sparklers, which many people consider to be relatively tame, are actually responsible for most of the injuries, especially to kids under age 5. They can burn at up to 2000º Fahrenheit, easily igniting clothing and causing third degree burns. Do not allow young children to play with fireworks under any circumstances.
Let the professionals handle it
Your safest option for enjoying the rockets’ red glare is at a public display conducted by professionals. But if launching fireworks at home is a July 4th tradition for your family (and it is legal in your community), be vigilant about safety precautions:
• Only adults should handle fireworks.
• Use fireworks on a flat, outdoor surface away from flammable materials.
• Do not allow anyone to handle pyrotechnics until after you have carefully read directions on their use. Follow the directions.
• Make sure that all spectators are well out of range when fireworks are being lit.
• Have a garden hose or bucket of water handy in case of accidental fire.
• Never try to relight fireworks that malfunction.