The first day of summer has officially arrived and the 4th of July is upon us! Red, white and blue backyard barbecues and sunshine-filled beach days lead way to lightning bugs and firework shows ready to light up the sky. It’s a magical night…but it also can be extremely dangerous.
In 2013, Americans suffered 14,000 fireworks related injuries (many of which could have been avoided). The most common injuries are burns; typically in the hands, fingers and face, but can also include amputation, hemorrhage, skin tissue damage, abrasions, lacerations, puncture, dermatitis, internal organ injuries, fractures, strains or sprains.
New Jersey Fireworks Law
Believe it or not, possessing fireworks or pyrotechnics is against the law in New Jersey; it is actually considered a misdemeanor offense! Unfortunately, every year, there is a mad rush to Pennsylvania (where it is legal) to buy fireworks, sparklers, bottle rockets and Roman candles…all of which are not permitted in the Garden State.
We highly recommend the prohibition of all fireworks that are not run by professionals, but realize some things are out of your control. In the event that you find yourself at a backyard neighborhood party with fireworks, take these safety tips into consideration from our medical experts at eMedical Urgent Care:
Know Your Fireworks
Always read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting anything. This should be the first thing you do.
Never allow children to play with fireworks. This may seem like common sense, but this includes sparklers as well as firecrackers and rockets. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, sparklers can reach temperatures greater than 1000°F which can cause serious burns and ignite clothing. Keep a bucket of water handy in case of unexpected accidents.
Stand Far Way
Avoid close proximity to fireworks. Point the firecracker away from people and buildings and do not hold it while lighting the fuse. And don’t carry them in your pockets…friction could actually cause them to explode!
Douse Duds in Water
Sometimes fireworks fizzle but then sizzle out. Do not attempt to relight the firecracker; it could be unstable and explode at any moment. Instead of picking it up to dispose of it, leave it where it is and douse it in water.
Careful With Clean-Up
Firecrackers can be too hot to handle. Soak each one in water prior to throwing them in the trash to prevent finger burns or a trash fire.
No Appointments Necessary!
Never hesitate to seek medical attention immediately after a fireworks injury. And remember, eMedical provides great care when you need it (open 7 days a week – even 4th of July, without the long waits and expenses) in two locations: Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, and Middletown, New Jersey. Feel better knowing we’re here.