Keeping Kids Safe This 4th of July
I have 3 active ‘Sparkler Holders’ this 4th of July, and I have a 4th who will want to touch all of the pretty colors! I really do not want to be a part of the thousands who rush to the emergency room from a firework injury. I understand that the absolute safest way to avoid injury is to avoid fireworks. All fireworks. That means sparklers, poppers, and anything else sold on the side of the road. But let’s be real. My family is going to take part in the festivities. If you are going to be too, then let’s plan to keep our children and ourselves safe while doing so. Let your children learn about 4th of July safety with the fun activities from the "Celebrate Safely Campaign”
Only one person is to light a firework at a time. Only one firework should be lit at a time. Do not assume an explosive is a ‘dud.’ NEVER RELIGHT A FIREWORK. Wait 2 minutes and then pour water over the firework to ensure it will not ignite. Keep a bucket of water within reach and place all finished fireworks in it. Do not wear loose fitting clothing around fireworks. Never try to make your own fireworks. Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass. Point them away from homes, bushes, leaves, and people. Remember that they can backfire, so note things in all directions. Stand several feet away from the fireworks. Don't hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.
Note: The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to more 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.
Sparklers are fireworks. They are NOT toys. Sparklers can burn up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to melt gold. They can cause serious injuries, including blindness and severe burns. Please do not allow children to use them unsupervised, and always talk to your children about firework safety prior to use.
- Young children’s arms are too short to hold sparklers, please let them watch or play by spinning glow sticks instead.
- Never put them in your pocket
- Never pick one up off the floor
- Make sure an adult is always present
- Light them one at a time
- Wear gloves
- Hold them at arm's length
- When it goes out, put the hot end in a bucket of water. Otherwise it could still burn you.
If Injury Occurs
If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If it is a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn (do not use ice). Call your doctor immediately or call 911.
Prevent Blindness America recommends the following if the eyes are injured: If there are specks in the eye,
- DO NOT rub the eye.
- Use an eye wash or let tears wash out specks or particles;
- Lift the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower lid;
- If the speck doesn’t wash out, keep the eye closed, bandage and see a doctor or go to the emergency room.
- DO NOT wash out the eye with water.
- DO NOT try to remove an object stuck in the eye.
- Cover the eye with a rigid shield without pressure. The bottom half of a paper cup may be used. Visit a doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.
For more information on fireworks safety, please call Prevent Blindness America at (800) 331-2020 or visit preventblindness.org. **REMINDER: Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer's name and directions; illegal ones are unlabeled), and store them in a cool, dry place. Illegal fireworks usually go by the names M-80, M100, blockbuster, or quarter pounder. These explosives were banned in 1966, but still account for many fireworks injuries.