Celebrate Safely

ENNIS, TX — Fireworks are loud, beautiful and exciting. They are a part of many Independence Day celebrations, and it is very important to remember that as beautiful and amazing as fireworks are, they can also be extremely dangerous. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were two deaths and nearly 9,000 emergency room visits related to firework injuries in 2009. Burns and lacerations to the hands and face were the most commonly reported injuries with more than one-half of the injuries related to sparklers, firecrackers and/or bottle rockets.

Safety Tips to Remember:

• Before celebrating with fireworks, make certain it is legal to use them in your area.
• Never allow children to use fireworks without strict adult supervision.
• Do not give fireworks to small children. Even sparklers can cause serious burns. Many people do not realize that sparklers burn at an approximate temperature of 2,000 degrees and remain very hot for several minutes after burning out.
• Never attempt to make your own fireworks.
• Always read and follow the label directions, warnings and instructions.
• Never light a firework of any kind indoors. Only use fireworks outdoors and on a flat, smooth surface away from all buildings and away from dry leaves, trees or grass.
• Never lean over fireworks when lighting them or hold them when
lighting them.
• Never try to relight a firework that failed to go off.
• Tie your hair back, wear safety goggles or safety glasses and do not
wear loose-fitting clothing that could catch fire easily.
• Make certain that other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
• Never throw fireworks at another person, vehicle or animal.
• Do not set fireworks off in glass or metal containers.
• Keep a bucket of water or water hose close by in case of fire.
• Be courteous of your neighbors and pets. Fireworks make a great deal of noise.

After having a safe and fun holiday with fireworks, dispose of them properly by soaking them thoroughly with water to prevent a trash or grass fire.

Thank you to the military and their families for allowing us to celebrate Independence Day and enjoy our freedom each and every day.

Written by Kim Loflin, RN, CEN, Trauma Coordinator Ennis Regional Medical Center