Firework safety reminder before the 4th of July
18,500 fires a year are started by fireworks, resulting in $43 million in property damage.
Additionally, the month of July averages 280 daily firework-related accidents that require an emergency room visit and children under 15 account for about 36% of the injuries.
Dr. Brook Eide, a Monument Health emergency medicine physician, said the most common burns are to hands and fingers, when someone is holding a firework as it explodes, or when someone approaches a firework to check if it is a dud, and the firework discharges later than expected.
"Burns with fireworks can range from superficial burns to much more significant, full thickness burns," said Eide. "Most burns will be superficial, and that's like a sunburn, just the redness. And those you just want to get under cold water as fast as possible. We want you to avoid putting ice directly on the skin because that can cause damage, but cold water, and about 30 minutes of that cold water. If you have blistering, you can run it a little bit longer."
Sparklers burn at more than a thousand degrees Farhrenheit and are common for children to use. Eide said users need to be aware of the possibility of injuries.
"Sparklers are something that's really fun, something nice that we can do with our younger kids," said Eide. "But the important thing with a sparkler is that the sparks themselves might not be dangerous, but the stick that carries them burns extremely hot and is very sharp, and we need to be really careful with those because they can cause pretty significant burns or even puncture injuries."
Eide also said alcohol paired with fireworks can be a dangerous mix.