Enjoy July Fourth responsibly
It’s fun to play with fireworks … until it’s not. Emergency rooms across the country see an increase in burns and hand injuries around the Fourth of July.
Charity S. Burke, M.D., hand surgeon, Norton Louisville Arm & Hand, is no stranger to treating fireworks injuries.
“When you’re the on-call hand surgeon during the Fourth of July, you know you’re going to be busy,” Dr. Burke said.
Here are some tips for staying out of the emergency room:
- Obey your state’s laws regarding fireworks. Currently, 37 states plus the District of Columbia ban rockets, 25 states ban firecrackers and 27 states ban shells and mortars.
- Avoid using shells, mortars and homemade fireworks such as pipe bombs, tennis ball bombs and altered consumer fireworks.
- A responsible adult should monitor all firework activity. Do not give fireworks to children.
- Have a bucket of water and a hose with running water nearby while using fireworks.
- Read safety labels and instructions before igniting.
- Never hold a firework while it is lit.
- Wear safety glasses while using and lighting fireworks.
- Do not drink alcohol while igniting fireworks. Enjoy alcohol in moderation after the show.
- Light one firework at a time, and move away immediately after lighting.
- Use fireworks outside only, away from buildings and cars.
- Do not relight “dud” fireworks. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Dispose of used fireworks by wetting them down and placing in a metal trash can, away from any buildings or combustible materials until the next day.