Ringing in Independence Day with family and friends is a time-honored tradition for most Americans. But unfortunately, over the past 15 years, there has been an increase in the number of people injured during the holiday.
A new report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has uncovered a significant upward trend in fireworks-related injuries. Between 2006 and 2021, injuries with fireworks climbed 25% in the U.S., according to CPSC estimates.
Last year, at least nine people died, and an estimated 11,500 were injured in incidents involving fireworks.
Tragedy doesn’t have to occur. Fireworks and other holiday accessories can be safe with proper handling.
WellSpan’s Dr. Bryan Wexler shared some tips to stay safe while partaking in celebrations this holiday:
1. Supervising children while they are handling fireworks is essential because fireworks like sparklers can get very hot very quickly. Be mindful of others and never launch or throw fireworks toward people or animals.
2.Be sure to read the labels on all fireworks before handling them and check with your local laws and ordinances before use.
3.Always store fireworks in a safe open-air area. People have stored fireworks in closed containers and when those containers then explode it can cause shrapnel to disburse into the air, Wexler said.
4.Keep a hose or bucket of water close to douse any sparks and prevent a fire from spreading. The Red Cross recommends thoroughly drenching fireworks when they are completed to prevent any trash fires.
5.Most importantly the best way to stay out of the ER is to never use fireworks under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
For additional tips on fireworks safety, visit the CPSC.