Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially during the Fourth of July. But fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries.
The Paul Silverstein Burn Center at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City receives patients every year from personal fireworks accidents.
INTEGRIS Hospital physicians recommend attending professional displays instead. But for those who decide to set off fireworks themselves, here are some important safety tips:
• Use fireworks outdoors only.
• Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a designated adult shooter.
• The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
• Never give fireworks to small children.
• Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type and an adult should be present.
• Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
• Light only one firework at a time.
• Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them. Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
• Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
• Never relight a "dud" firework.
• Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter.
• Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
• Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
• Keep a bucket of water in case of a malfunction or fire.
• Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trashcan.
In the event of a fireworks injury or injury to the eye, persons should go to the nearest emergency room for immediate evaluation.