Michigan State Medical Society President Mohammed A. Arsiwala, MD, and physicians across Michigan remind families to practice fireworks safety this Independence Day to avoid serious injury, burns and trips to the emergency room.
In 2016, the last year for which statistics are currently available, emergency rooms in the United States treated an estimated 7,600 people for fireworks related injuries and in the month surrounding July 4th, an average of 200 people per day head to the emergency room with fireworks related injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 36 percent of those suffering firework related injuries each year are under 15 years of age.
“Fireworks can be a blast and are a great part of every 4th of July celebration, but it is important that they be enjoyed safely” said Doctor Arsiwala. “Serious injuries, burns and trips to the E.R. are an all-too-common part of the 4th, but they don’t have to be. Each year in the weeks surrounding our nation’s birthday, thousands of people are injured by fireworks because they do not handle them as carefully as they should. By following a few simple tips, we can go a long way to ensuring neither we nor our children become another statistic.”
Simple tips to help families enjoy fireworks safely this 4th of July include:
- Leave fireworks to the trained professionals;
- If at all possible, avoid consumer fireworks entirely;
- Always closely supervise children around fireworks of any kind;
- Never approach or touch a “dud” that has failed to ignite—it may spontaneously ignite at any moment;
- Never touch “leftover” fireworks because they may still be active;
- If you are using consumer fireworks, place them on the ground before lighting them and never light fireworks while holding them;
- Sparklers burn at temperatures of up to 1,200 degrees—keep them away from children, and never point them toward yourself or another person.