Hospital emergency rooms treat an estimated 10,500 people for firework related injuries, with 51% of the injuries being to the extremities and 38% to the head. Though the use, possession, and selling of fireworks is illegal in Massachusetts, the exposure to the possibility of injury still exists.
We asked Tufts Medical Center Injury Prevention Coordinator, Beth Wolfe for suggested precautions for the summer months:
- Children should never play with fireworks. Products such as sparklers may be attractive to little ones, but can quickly reach temperatures hot enough to melt gold.
- Fireworks should never be used by an individual under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Both children and adults should be kept at distance when fireworks are in use to help avoid injury in the case of a misfire.
- Fireworks are highly flammable and should always be done outside with a bucket of water or hose nearby.
- Be aware of falling debris near brush or other houses to prevent unintentional fires.
- Be mindful of your pets! Animals have a higher sensitivity to loud noises and can become frightened and stressed more easily.
- If you do choose to handle fireworks, take precaution. Do not hold the firework in your hand or close to your body when lighting, and only light one firework at a time. Wear protective eyewear, and maintain as much distance from the lighting area as possible.