Around this time every year my boys get overly excited about lighting fireworks. And I, as their mother, worry about their safety. They always act like mom is overprotective and worries too much, but do you know how many people are injured every year by fireworks?
Per the Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved with an estimated 10,000 injuries in the U.S. hospital emergency departments during the calendar year 2019. That year, between June 21 and July 21, an estimated 7,300 fireworks related injuries were treated in emergency rooms and 36% of them were to children younger than 15. My two younger boys are 14 and 18… now do you see why I worry!
It’s not just the big fireworks that are causing the injuries. The CPSC says an estimated 900 emergency department treated injuries were associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets. Now, I can see the bottle rockets… remember, I have boys! But the sparkler injury numbers shocked me.
The safest way to enjoy the fireworks is to leave it to the professionals. But, if your home is anything like mine, that is NOT going to happen. So, please follow the tips from the National Safety Council:
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks. Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.
- Never use fireworks while using alcohol or drugs.
- Wear protective eyewear if you’re handling or standing nearby fireworks.
- Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
- Don’t light fireworks indoors. They should be lit away from people, houses and flammable material.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Only light one firework at a time, and maintain a safe distance after lighting it.
- Never light fireworks in a container.
- Don’t try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.
- Never use illegal fireworks.