The Fourth of July is one of the busiest days for Banner UMC's emergency room, and fireworks are one of the most common reasons behind a trip to the ER.
Lighting fireworks safely can make the difference between a happy Fourth and a trip to the ER. These quick tips will keep you and your kids safe while celebrating.
- Talk to your kids about keeping fireworks as far from their bodies as possible.
- Light off fireworks on cement or wet down the area with a hose beforehand.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby in case something sparks and to put fireworks in once they've cooled.
- Do not throw fireworks in the trash...they can spark easily.
- Use a long stemmed lighter and wear glasses to keep sparks away from your hands and eyes.
Trauma nurses at Banner UMC said about 30% of the injuries they see over the July 4th weekend are burns from fireworks. Thirty to forty percent of firework injuries happen to children under 16 years old. Damage to the face and hands is the most common.
"A lot of times the sparks can fly off of even the little tiny sparklers and fly into their eyes," said Susan Kinkade, a trauma nurse at Banner UMC. "We see blast injuries from people holding fireworks in their hands, or from making homemade fireworks and the cord isn't long enough, or they have duds...they don't light the first time so they go to pick them up, and they explode. So usually hand injuries they'll end up losing their fingers or their whole hand."
If you do get burned, the best thing to do is cover your burn with a wet towel. Don't put any creams on it, and just head to the emergency room immediately.