Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 7.23.25 AMAs we approach the 4th of July, a quick reminder about injuries and ways to protect your children. Each year, preventable injuries occur in young children and teens from fireworks. Children between the age of 5 and 14 are the highest risk for firework injuries—over double the risk of the rest of us. Serious injuries occur including devastating injuries to the eyes and face. Not surprisingly, the most common injuries are burns. Even sparklers can cause serious burns; sparklers burn at up to 2000 degrees, as hot as a blow torch and hot enough to melt some metals.

So…..

As you prepare for the long weekend and take time with your family and friends to celebrate the incredible freedom we enjoy here in the United States, make sure your family is safe if you choose to use fireworks. Remind teens about safe driving, avoiding alcohol on the road, and distractions. A crummy fact: the 4th of July ranks as the deadliest day of the year for teen drivers.

Tips And Facts For Preventing Family Firework Injuries:

  • The most important (and likely most obvious) reminder is to never allow children to light or set-off fireworks. Injuries often occur when fireworks malfunction or are not set-off properly.
  • Don’t use or ignite homemade fireworks. All 6 firework-related deaths in 2012 in the United States occurred secondary to use of illegal or homemade fireworks.
  • If you think you’re too smart for injuries on the Fourth of July, hold on a second. Recent research found that higher levels of education do not protect against firework-related injuries.
  • If you have fireworks in your backyard, make sure you have a garden hose and bucket of water ready and full while enjoying fireworks in case of any emergency or fire.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, and move back quickly! Don’t ever allow your family members or friends to re-light a firework that didn’t go off properly or perform as expected.
  • All ages considered (children and adults), 3/4 of firework burns and injuries occur in boys and men. Males are most injured from firecrackers, sparklers, bottle rockets, roman candles, and re-loadable shells.
  • Here’s a complete, updated infographic from the Consumer Product Safety Commission about firework injuries and source of the drawing included here!