Happy Independence Day!

Essential Guidelines for Fireworks Safety

Thousands of Americans, many of them children, are injured each year in fireworks accidents. Most of these injuries occur during the Independence Day holiday and include serious burns, loss of fingers, and blindness. Though the most disabling injuries occur with illegal firecrackers, such as M-80s, most injuries are caused by bottle rockets, sparklers, and Roman candles.

Staying safe

Viewing public displays handled by professionals is the safest way to enjoy fireworks on the Independence Day holiday or any other day. Even then, keep a safe distance away.

If you plan to celebrate the holiday with your own fireworks, these precautions can help prevent injuries:

  • Do not let children play with fireworks
  • Never place any part of your body over a fireworks device
  • Make sure anyone who handles fireworks wears safety goggles to protect the eyes from flying sparks or debris
  • Avoid using bottle rockets. Their flight paths are often erratic, and rocket launchers sometimes explode, sending pieces of glass or metal flying
  • Do not drink alcohol when using fireworks
  • Read all safety labels
  • Do not try to re-light fireworks that have not worked properly
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of malfunction or fire
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks
  • Follow label directions
  • Light fireworks outdoors
  • Light only one at a time
  • Buy from reliable fireworks sellers
  • Never give fireworks to small children
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket

In case of eye injury

If an accident injures someone's eyes, these actions can help protect the victim's sight:

  • Seek immediate medical attention, even if the injury seems minor
  • Do not try to rinse out the eye. This can be very damaging
  • Do not put pressure on the eye. Do not touch the injury at all
  • Do not give the victim aspirin or ibuprofen to try reducing the pain. These thin the blood and might increase bleeding
  • Do not apply ointment or any medicine as it is probably not sterile

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