Many Fourth of July activities are canceled this year because of COVID-19 restrictions. You may decide to have your own fireworks show in your yard, but be careful.
Fireworks cause thousands of burns and eye injuries every year.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that, on average, 180 people visit the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries around the July 4th holiday. In 2019, an estimated 10,000 injuries were treated in U.S. emergency rooms, according to the commission, and most were in a 30-day period around July 4.
Children, 15 years and younger, accounted for 36 percent of the estimated fireworks-related injuries. Nearly half of the injuries were to people younger than 20 years old.
If you think sparklers are beautiful and safe, think again. More than 900 sparkler injuries were treated in ERs last year, and 400 injuries were caused by bottle rockets.
Adults should always light fireworks, and children should not play with fireworks or be near them. This may seem obvious, but the safety commission noted that children four years old and younger had the highest rate of department-treated, fireworks-related injuries. Children should never play with fireworks.
Remember to follow local laws concerning fireworks. Other ways to stay safe include:
- Reading fireworks labels before igniting
- Avoiding alcohol while handling fireworks
- Wearing safety glasses when shooting fireworks
- Lighting only one firework at a time and then quickly moving away
If you’re lighting fireworks in your yard, keep a water hose or a bucket of water nearby in case a fire should occur.
One more reminder: Never take your pets to any fireworks display, even a small one. Pets are more sensitive to loud noises than even you are or children. If they are scared of neighborhood fireworks, don’t leave them home alone. Make sure someone stays with them.