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The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch the show put on by your local municipality. In this video, Lori Boyajian-O’Neill, OD, with HCA Midwest Health, explains the potential risk involved in having your own fireworks display.
Kids should never play with fireworks. Sparklers, firecrackers and rockets can all reach very hot temperatures (up to 1,800 degrees). Keep them outside and away from faces, clothing and hair. Buy only legal fireworks at firework stores. Never make your own homemade versions. Point fireworks away from people, trees and houses. Light one at a time and never re-light a dud. Soak fireworks with water before throwing them away. Keep pets away; they can get frightened by loud noises. If anyone is injured, call for help right away. Lastly, leave the fireworks shows to the professionals!
Fireworks are a July 4th favorite, but it’s very important to leave fireworks to the professionals.
Each July 4th, thousands of people, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the risks including devastating burns, other injuries, fires and death. As a pediatrician, at a major medical center, I have seen horrible burns and injuries, often in children and teens from fireworks.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges families NOT to buy fireworks for their own or their children's use. Please continue to enjoy public firework displays conducted by trained professionals.
Have a Happy 4th of July!
As July 4th approaches, stores start stocking fireworks, and portable fireworks stands pop up around towns and cities. This is indicative of Americans' love for private fireworks shows. Some people remember fondly their younger days when they gathered with family in the back yard of an uncle's home shooting off dozens and dozens of fireworks and eating homemade ice cream. These memories are lasting and the tradition is passed on to their children. But there are safety issues. Fireworks can be dangerous if handled improperly. Read all directions on the package and take all precautions before lighting fireworks. Keep everyone a safe distance from the launching area. Have an extinguisher handy just in of fire, or perhaps even alert the local fire department of your planned event and ask if they can provide assistance. Avoid lighting fireworks during dry conditions. Allow only adults to handle fireworks. To be safe, start a new tradition by taking in a city- or organization-sponsored event. No, it's not hands-on, but you are less likely to end up in the ER. Have fun!
Fireworks add festivity to a Fourth of July celebration, but a public fireworks display is safer and more dazzling than trying to do it yourself. Keep in mind that:
- Fireworks and sparklers should be handled by trained professionals. Sparklers can get as hot as 1,200 degrees!
- Stay at least 500 feet away from the display.
- Remind children that if they find used fireworks or sparklers—do not touch!
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.