When the summer heats up, so do the barbecues, celebrations, and fireworks. People enjoy viewing public displays of fireworks in cities and towns across the country. Professionals design and run these firework displays to ensure firework safety. In some states, anyone can buy fireworks and set them off at home. However, there are some serious safety issues to consider when using fireworks.
Practicing Fireworks Safety
Fireworks cause nearly 13,000 people to visit the emergency room each year, and over half of those injuries are to the arms and legs. Young children account for about a third of all those injuries.
Do not allow small children to use fireworks, and an adult should directly supervise older children as well. Don’t use fireworks if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When using fireworks or watching them nearby, plan to wear eyewear to protect your eyes. Fireworks often emit sparks when lighting. If the fireworks explode quicker than you were expecting, your eyes are protected from flying debris.
Fireworks should be lit outside only, and not be held in your hands. Also, avoid leaning over fireworks when lighting. If a firework will not light the first time or appears to be a ‘dud,’ do not try to reignite it. Wait twenty minutes and then soak the ‘dud’ in water before throwing away.
When setting the fireworks off, do not point them at other people or hold them in your hands for too long. Light one firework at a time and back away to a safe distance.
Surprisingly, even the sparklers favored by children are dangerous. They burn at a very high temperature, up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, and are known to start clothing on fire or cause burns to feet, if dropped. Sparklers cause at least a quarter of all firework injuries that require a trip to the emergency room. Firework safety includes the need for used fireworks to be soaked in water for a while before throwing them away. It helps if you have a bucket of water handy dedicated to soaking used fireworks.
And, finally, don’t make homemade fireworks. Instead, buy them legally at a licensed firework stand. Be sure to purchase the fireworks packaged in their original packaging and read all the instructions before igniting.
We hope you have a safe, healthy, and fun summer! Should you find yourself dealing with any orthopedic issues – be they firework-related or not – please don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons here at Prairie Orthopedic in Lincoln, Nebraska!