Before lighting off fireworks at home this year, experts have advice to avoid being burned.
As an injury prevention coordinator with Gundersen Health System, Megan Anderson’s typical advice is to leave the firework shows to the professionals. Now with so many professional shows canceled because of COVID-19, she expected to see an increase in injuries.
“Firework injuries can include an injury to the eyes and burns to the hands, face, or maybe the feet if sparklers are dropped on the ground and stepped on,” Anderson said.
She recommended only adults handle fireworks. Preparations may be needed to not only make sure fireworks are legal in the area, but also that the designated spot is in an open area away from homes, dry grass, brush, or other flammable substances.
Protective eyewear could help avoid injury. Anderson added it is never a good idea to relight a firework that might have been a dud.
“Soak fireworks before you dispose of them in water, and being prepared again, keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher handy in case something does happen,” Anderson said.
Firework injuries or burns need to be taken seriously, and a hurt individual should be taken to a hospital as quickly as possible.
“Even sparklers aren’t recommended for young children because they can cause third-degree burns,” Anderson said. “If you have an eye injury or a burn on the skin, you don’t want to rub on that or flush it. You just want to go straight to the hospital.”
Thinking outside the box for Fourth of July, Anderson recommended using glow sticks to safely celebrate with children.