Safely Celebrate the Fourth of July

Though celebrating the Fourth of July is certainly different this year, with reduced crowds and limited community events, many families may still celebrate at home with a few fireworks. Fireworks are a fun way to recognize the holiday, but safety protocols need to be a priority for all those who decide to use them.

More than half of all fireworks-related injuries happen the first week of July, and more than 10,000 emergency room visits in 2019 were from fireworks injuries. Children under age 15 incurred 36% of those injuries.

What are common injuries from fireworks?

Injuries from fireworks can cause major damage to many areas of the body. The 2019 data from the Consumer Product and Safety Commission and breakdown in the infographic below shows which parts of the body are most commonly injured from fireworks.

firework-injuries-2020

How can I prevent injuries from fireworks?

Follow appropriate safety tips, including the following:

  • Never allow children to play with or light fireworks. Even sparklers can cause serious injury, as they can burn up to 2,000 degrees.
  • Never purchase fireworks packaged in brown paper, as this is typically a sign that fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never relight or pick up fireworks that failed to ignite.
  • Keep a hose or bucket of water handy before lighting fireworks.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • After fireworks complete burning, douse the device with plenty of water before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

More tips and information about fireworks safety can be found here.

Should you or a family member experience trauma, please do not delay calling 911 or visiting the emergency room.

UF Health stands ready to handle emergencies 24/7. We have taken extra precautions to provide an environment as safe as possible to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19, including using masks, eye protection and other personal protective equipment as necessary, careful handwashing and thorough surface cleaning.