Summer is the perfect time to spend outside with loved ones while looking up at bright fireworks displays – especially during Fourth of July celebrations. However, injuries can get in the way of summer fun. Therefore, taking preventive steps can be crucial when it comes to saving yourself a trip to the hospital.
Burns injuries specifically are common during the summer, especially during the month of July. In fact, every year 13,000 people nationwide find themselves in the emergency room as a result of firework-related injuries. Improper use of fireworks can quickly turn a celebration into tragedy as these injuries often leave permanent damage to eyes, hands and the face.
“Children are curious and learn through touch and example,” Hannah Koralewski, RN, trauma prevention and education coordinator at Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center, explains. “Keep a close eye on them, model good behavior and keep fireworks as well as firecrackers and lighters locked away. Burns can be traumatizing and life-altering. Educating yourself is your best tool when it comes to keeping your kids and yourself out of danger.”
Here are a few more tips to help you stay safe during your Fourth of July celebrations this year.
Fireworks safety tips
- Don’t allow children to handle fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers can reach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, that is hotter than a blow torch!
- Have a designated, sober adult light all legal fireworks.
- Never hold a lit firework in your hand or point/throw a lit firework at anyone.
- Keep children and other observers at a safe distance and behind a protective barrier.
- Keep a bucket of water close by for disposal of fireworks.
- Consider safer alternatives such as glow sticks or confetti poppers.
- Observe all local and state laws.
Grilling safety tips
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- Grills should be used away from the house, deck railings as well as out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
- Use caution when using starter fluid, only use charcoal starter fluid and never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
- Keep charcoal fluid away from children and heat sources.
- When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing them in a metal container.
Campfire safety tips
- Watch children while fire is burning. Never let children and pets play or stand too close to the fire.
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
- Keep a campfire small and easy to control.
- NEVER use gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquids on a campfire.
- Always have a hose, bucket of water or shovel and dirt/sand nearby to put the fire out.
- If your clothes catch on fire, cover your face and stop, drop and roll until the fire is out.
- Treat any burns right away. Cool the burn with cool water for three to five minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth and get medical help if needed.
Learn about the emergency and urgent care services we offer at Mercy Health.