How to Keep Kids Safe on the Fourth of July
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Across the United States in 2010, an estimated 3,440 children ages 15 and under sustained injuries involving fireworks, with most of these injuries occurring between the middle of June to the middle of July. Children and teenagers are the most likely group to be injured as a result of consumer fireworks. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 40 percent of people injured by fireworks are under the age of 15. Fifty-three percent of those injured are under the age of 20.
No sparklers... really
“Don’t ever let kids play with fireworks or sparklers,” said Dina Morrissey, M.D., M.P.H., program coordinator for the Injury Prevention Center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and the Safe Kids Rhode Island coordinator. “The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them at a community event where professionals handle them. Adults should never use fireworks when children are present.”
The United States Fire Administration warns that children should never play with fireworks or sparklers. Sparklers can reach 2,000° Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt some types of metal. Children should never be allowed to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, may cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing. “Teach your children how to call 911 in an emergency. Also teach them what to do if their clothing catches on fire - ‘stop, drop and roll,’” said Morrissey.
4th of July safety tips
Read all warnings and follow the instructions on fireworks' packages.
Stay away from fireworks that aren't clearly labeled with the name of the item, the manufacturer's name and instructions for proper use.
Make sure there is a responsible adult present when lighting fireworks.
If you've been drinking alcohol, don't use fireworks.
Don't hold sparklers. Instead, put them in the ground.
Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
Don't put any type of fireworks or flammables near children. Sparklers can get as hot as 2,000 degrees.
Be sure other people and pets are out of range before lighting fireworks.
Only light fireworks in a cool place, on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry leaves and flammable materials.
Never re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned.
Never light fireworks that look defective.
Keep a bucket of water handy, and soak used fireworks for at least 10 minutes after igniting.
Wear safety goggles when handling pyrotechnics.
Never attempt to make your own fireworks and do not purchase or use any kits sold for making fireworks.
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