We love the fourth of July. It’s a wonderful day, weekend… often week… filled with backyard bar-b-ques, celebrations, and fireworks. But for about 230 families a year, it also means a trip to the emergency room. This year especially, because the holiday falls mid-week, we have an extended 4th of July celebration; more opportunities for fun, but also more opportunities for fireworks mishaps as well.
How’s this for a sobering statistic:
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an average 230 fireworks-related injuries near and on the 4th of July each year in the U.S.
According to the CPSC, children between the ages of 10 and 14 were at three times the risk of fireworks injuries than the general population. About a third of the injuries were from small firecrackers, 21 percent from bottle rockets and 20 percent from sparklers. Important safety tips when around fireworks are so important.
Some fireworks incidents do turn deadly. In 2014, nine people died from eight different fireworks related accidents, including two who were not the lighters.
Also, prior to using fireworks, make sure they are permitted in your state or local area.* In the state of Connecticut, all fireworks, other than sparklers and fountains are considered illegal. Regardless of location, consumers who intend to use fireworks have to comply with federal regulations. Many state and local governments also prohibit or limit consumer fireworks, formerly known as “class C fireworks,” which are common fireworks, and firecrackers sold for consumer use. Consumer fireworks include: shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, Roman candles, rockets, sparklers, firecrackers with no more than 50 milligrams of powder, and novelty items, such as snakes, airplanes, ground spinners, helicopters, fountains, and party poppers. However, if fireworks are legal where you live and you are with home fireworks fanatics who are not able to be held down, be sure to follow these important safety tips:
10 Important Safety Tips When Around Fireworks
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
- Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.
- Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from onlookers, houses and flammable materials.
- Light one device at a time; maintain a safe distance after lighting.
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
- Take pets indoors while using fireworks. Most pets are disturbed and afraid of fireworks.
- Never ignite devices in a container.
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks; douse and soak them with water and discard them safely.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.
- If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.
If someone is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor, or come to either of our urgent care centers where our staff is equipped to care for burns and injuries from fireworks. Both AFC Urgent Care Danbury’s locations are open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and from 8am-5PM on the weekends. We are located at 2 Main Street at the corner of South and Main, and at 100 Mill Plain Road in Danbury, CT.
Please be safe, protect your children, set the rules and use common sense around fireworks this holiday season. Fourth of July should be a joyous time, not a deadly time.