4th of July Safety Tips 2013

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, with its picnics and fireworks. While fireworks displays are beautiful and patriotic, they can also cause serious injuries if they don’t work or aren’t used properly.

According to a report published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, children are particularly vulnerable to injuries from fireworks. About 45% of the fireworks injuries reported each year involve children with eye injuries that could result in permanent vision loss.

Adult males run the highest risk of death caused by a fireworks-related injury. In 2011, four men died of severe injuries, and 68 percent of all reported injuries involved men.

Fireworks safety tips

This Fourth of July, you can help keep your family safe by following some basic safety tips if you plan to set off fireworks or attend a fireworks show.

  • Don’t let children handle fireworks, period. Sparklers burn at about 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to cause third-degree burns. Even under adult supervision, children shouldn’t play with fire.
  • Do wear protective eyewear when handling fireworks. Fireworks can cause such eye injuries as corneal abrasions, retinal detachment and optic nerve damage. If your fireworks malfunction, you can reduce the risk of injury by wearing protective goggles.
  • Do go to a professional fireworks display instead of staging a backyard display at home. If you attend a public fireworks show, stay behind safety barriers and follow all the safety instructions that are provided to you at the show. Don’t touch any unexploded fireworks if you see them on the ground. Notify authorities if you see something suspicious.
  • Don’t make your own fireworks, and don’t buy illegal fireworks. Of the four deaths that the CPSC reported in 2011, three involved illegal fireworks and one involved a homemade device.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July celebration!


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