In the wake of Fourth of July celebrations around the country, injuries from fireworks have jumped dramatically over the last several years, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Sadly, this is something that we see every year.
While the numbers for 2014 have not been released yet, there were eight deaths and more than 11,000 injuries contributed to fireworks in 2013. This was a 30 percent increase over 2012. Usually 40 percent of those injured are under the age of 15.
These injuries are particularly with sparklers which burn at 1,800 degrees—which is hot enough to melt gold—and bottle rockets.
The pair account for roughly 40% of child injuries.
Burns are the number one injury that physicians see from firework accidents.
Common sense says that fireworks are to be used by adults only; however, if you are going to let kids play, please do it safely.
- Have them wear safety goggles to protect their eyes
- Never allow them to use a lighter to light fuses
- Make sure they have a clear area to sit fireworks and a clear path away from the explosive without obstacles
Nevertheless, many of the injuries occur when adults fail to supervise small children properly when fireworks are present.
Others, especially those in the medical field, question whether children should be allowed to play with fireworks in general. To them the safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a community event where professionals handle the explosives.
Important tips for safe adult-supervised firework fun:
- Follow fireworks instructions and light only on smooth, flat surfaces, aiming away from spectators, buildings, dry leaves, and flammable materials
- Do not try to relight fireworks that malfunction
- Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or hold them close to your face
- Visit recalls.gov to make sure the pyrotechnic devices you are using are not subject to any safety recalls
- Do not modify fireworks or use homemade fireworks
- Keep a phone and fire extinguisher handy, and know first aid for burns
- Teach your children how to call 911 in an emergency and how to “stop, drop and roll” in case of a clothing fire
If you have been injured while responsibly using fireworks, or injured due to someone else’s careless use of fireworks, please schedule a free consultation with Tennessee personal injury attorneys at Gilreath & Associates today. In addition, you can also browse our blog and knowledge center to find other information.