Beverly Hopps of Mission Children’s Hospital in Asheville offers these great tips for keeping your little ones safe while using fireworks, as seen in WNC Parent.
Many summertime holiday traditions include enjoying fireworks with the family. Unfortunately, many children suffer injuries from fireworks.
Sparklers alone accounted for 41 percent of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2013, and sparklers accounted for 79 percent of injuries to children younger than 5 years old. These are injuries that can be prevented.
Be extra careful with sparklers. Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees — enough to cause third-degree burns. A safe alternative is to let your young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun for the child, but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass. Of course, always supervise children around all fireworks at all times.
Adults should take necessary precautions as well. Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks. Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass. Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.
Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a devise does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate. Put it out with water and dispose of it. Always have a bucket of water and/or fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to properly operate the fire extinguisher.
If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause more damage.
Leave fireworks to the professionals. The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays, and leave the lighting to the professionals.