This month, we will be looking ahead to July and specifically, Independence Day celebrations. Firework related injuries commonly occur on major holidays, most notably over Fourth of July weekend and can range in severity from minor burns to finger and hand amputations.
Most firework injuries result from little or poor safety awareness and use of large or illegal fireworks. A firework contains large amounts of explosive compounds that are sensitive to heat, shock, friction, and can even spontaneously detonate if there is a chemical imbalance.
Per the 2018 Fireworks Annual Report collected by the United States of America Consumer Product Safety Commision, hand and finger injuries make up as much as 28% of firework-related injuries. An additional 44% of injuries were burns, primarily to the hands, fingers and arms. The most common cause of firework burns are the small, handheld sparklers, and BlackCats. In addition to third degree burns and permanent scarring, blindness and life-threatening home and motor vehicle fires can be started due to poor use of fireworks. Prevention of firework-related upper extremity injuries is important, as even a minor injury or burn from an ordinary sparkler may cause pain and discomfort or more severe, infection which would require further debridement and healing.
Research shows that these factors increase your risk of firework injuries:
- Males are twice as likely to be injured by fireworks than females.
- Children younger than 15 account for 1 in 4 firework-related injuries.
- Use of drugs or alcohol also increase incidence of firework injuries.
Check out these quick stats on firework-related injuries:
It is extremely important to be aware of safety when celebrating with fireworks this summer. Here are a few tried and true safety tips gathered from the best of the best health care and government resources:
- Never hold fireworks with your hand.
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Do not attempt to re-light or handle a malfunctioning firework.
- Soak used or malfunctioned fireworks in water for an hour after use.
- Keep a bucket of water around for extinguishing fires or sparks if needed.
- Follow all warning labels and read precautionary information included on packaging.
- Keep all fireworks away from any flammable liquids, dry grassy areas, or open bonfires.
- Never attempt to make your own exploding device from raw gunpowder, or similar flammable substance. The results are too unpredictable and may be devastating.
- Do not use aluminum or metal soda can or glass bottle to stage before lighting.
- Never use illegal fireworks.
- Let the professionals handle it!
Professional Shows in the DFW area on July 4, 2020
- Fair Park Fourth 2020
- Panther Island Pavilion
- The Old Fashioned Fourth of July Picnic at the Botanic Garden (July 2 – 4)
2018 Fireworks Annual Report
Indiana Hand To Shoulder Center - Fireworks Injuries
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission
Increases in Fireworks-Related Upper Extremity Injuries Correspond to Increasing Fireworks Sales
Firework-Related Injury Facts
Dallas–Fort Worth 4th of July Events and Fireworks 2020