Thousands of children and adolescents in the United States are injured in firework-related accidents every year during fireworks season, which starts now and runs through the middle of July.
In fact, in 2015, more than 3,000 children and young adults under the age of 20 in the United States were taken to emergency rooms with injuries related to fireworks.
Before you and your family head outside to enjoy the Fourth of July and other summer festivities, check out our tips for staying safe around fireworks.
- Leave it to the professionals. Instead of setting off fireworks at home, attend a public fireworks display. You’ll be out of harm’s way and still be able to enjoy the show.
- If you are using fireworks at home, take precautions. Never let children play with or light fireworks, and always read all warning labels before use.
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks. And be sure to stand several feet away from lit fireworks.
- Have an extinguisher nearby. A bucket of water, hose or fire extinguisher will work.
- Don’t try to relight a firework that hasn’t worked properly. Instead, put it out with water and get rid of it.
- Be careful with sparklers. Sparklers heat up to more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and present a real health risk, especially for small children. Instead of sparklers, let your little ones use glow sticks – they’ll have fun and stay safe, too.
- Be prepared for an emergency. Have a phone nearby in case you need to call 911, and teach children what to do if their clothing catches fire (stop, drop and roll). In the case of an eye injury, avoid touching or rubbing it, which can make the injury worse, and get help immediately.
- Temperatures don’t have to reach the 100s to be dangerous, especially to the very young, the very old and those who are already dealing with illness. Learn how to recognize heat-related illness, and remember to check on older relatives and neighbors when temperatures soar.
- Headed to the lake or the pool this weekend? Read our 8 tips to keep kids safe around water and learn how to recognize someone who’s drowning (it isn’t as obvious as you think) before you go.