Staying Safe This 4th of July: Summer Holiday Safety Tips

With the 4th of July just around the corner, many of us are planning family fun, including picnics, backyard BBQs, and beach trips. While we celebrate Independence Day with our friends and family, it is important to do so safely. Approximately 73% of firework injuries occur in the weeks before and after the 4th of July.

Common Injuries with Fireworks

In 2022 alone, over 10,000 people were treated for firework-related injuries, with 11 fatalities. Children under 15 accounted for 28% of these injuries, primarily burns . Sparklers, which many of us played with as children, burn at roughly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers alone account for 25% of firework injuries, and half of the injuries involving children under 5 are sparkler-related . Children should not handle fireworks, but if they do, it should be under adult supervision.

If you or a loved one receives a burn injury, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Touching a sparkler can cause a third-degree burn, and other firework injuries can result in similar severity. Immediate treatment can help relieve pain faster and assess the severity of the burn.

Burn Treatment Steps

  1. Soak the burn in cool water as quickly as possible. Running cool water over the burn helps cool the area and relieve pain immediately.
  2. Cool any smoldering clothing immediately by soaking with water, then remove any clothing from the burned area unless it is stuck firmly to the skin. In that case, cut away as much clothing as possible.
  3. If the injured area is not oozing, cover the burn with a sterile gauze pad or a clean, dry cloth.
  4. If the burn is oozing, cover it lightly with sterile gauze if available and seek medical attention immediately. If sterile gauze is not available, cover burns with a clean sheet or towel.

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Firework Safety Tips and Alternatives

There are many ways to avoid injury while celebrating this upcoming month. One option is to use alternatives to personal fireworks:

  • Replace sparklers with glow sticks, streamers, or confetti poppers for children.
  • Leave fireworks to the professionals by attending firework shows. This can help prevent injuries from incorrect firework usage.

If you decide to use fireworks at home with family and friends, keep these safety measures in mind to prevent injuries:

  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands. Place fireworks on the ground, light them, then run out of the way.
  • Never use fireworks under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at other people.
  • Never use them indoors, or near homes, trees, or flammable material
  • Keep water around to put out fires or dud fireworks, along with soaking spent fireworks after use to prevent misfires or burns.

By following these tips and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable 4th of July celebration with your loved ones. Stay safe and make this Independence Day a memorable and injury-free holiday.