EVEN SPARKLERS CAN CAUSE SERIOUS INJURIES
In the month around July 4th, an average of 180 people per day go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries. An estimated 57% of these injuries are burns. While you should definitely avoid fireworks packaged in brown paper, as they are often made for professional displays, you should also think twice about sparklers. Many people give these handheld fireworks to their children without knowing that sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees, a temperature hot enough to melt some metals.
Even with supervision, your child could suffer a third-degree burn in a matter of seconds. When it comes to the 4th of July in 2020, there are also other factors to keep in mind.
CELEBRATING AT HOME
As a result of this year’s coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, fireworks shows around the country have been canceled, so some fire departments are predicting an “uptick in firework injuries” from individuals putting on shows at home. Other sources of burn injuries may include cooking and grilling at home. With more people cooking for themselves, medical providers have already seen an increase in burn injuries. One regional burn center saw their patients go from 60 a month to 100-130 a month as a result of people cooking and experimenting during the pandemic.
The only way to stay safe from fireworks-related injuries is to leave all fireworks activities to professionals. If you do decide to use fireworks at home, make sure they are legal in your area first and do not let children under 14 handle fireworks – not even sparklers or firecrackers. You should also keep in mind that fireworks are not regulated by any government agency, so they can quickly become defective.
One burn center expert told TODAY:
“There’s no safe way to use fireworks and so we recommend leaving them all up to professionals…I’ve had very smart, very well-educated people have very severe injuries because they thought they knew what they were doing…There’s just no regulation of them. So you really don’t know what you’re getting — even if you think that you’re buying something that’s fairly safe.”
Many fireworks malfunction, which leads to blast injuries, severe burns, and amputations. That being said, even the most functional firework can become dangerous in the wrong person’s hand. Injuries from firecrackers and sparklers, especially among children under 14, are more common than any other firework injury.
When using fireworks:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks
- Never shoot fireworks from your hand or at other people
- Never place any part of your body over a fireworks device
- Do not try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully
- Douse “duds” in water and throw them away
- Only light one firework at a time and move back quickly
- Do not light fireworks from glass or metal containers
- Discard fireworks safely and douse them with water before throwing them away
- Always keep a hose and/or bucket of water nearby in case of emergency
At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux PLLC, we wish you a safe holiday and hope our shared tips help you prevent injuries.
If you are harmed by someone else’s negligence this holiday or at any any other time, you can count on us for legal help.
As always, when the unthinkable happens, call us at 918-492-7674 or contact us online.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!