Medical professionals urge consumers to use caution with at-home - - Columbia, South Carolina

Medical professionals urge consumers to use caution with at-home fireworks

Source KFDA Source KFDA
Source KFDA Source KFDA
Source KFDA Source KFDA

In the month of July, an average of 280 people visit the hospital every day for fireworks-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

While some local medical professionals are urging residents to leave the fireworks displays to the experts, they say if you are going to participate, do so with caution. 

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"Instead of lighting fireworks with a lighter or a match, use an extended lighter or light-stick, that's probably one of the most important things," said Medical Director for Northwest Emergency at Town Square Dr. Frederick Poage. "If you're at a home fireworks show or something, make sure it's a very open-space, which has less risk of causing injury to anybody."

One local nurse practitioner said she's already treated two children suffering from first and second degree burns due to the seemingly-harmless sparkler fireworks. 

However, they are a lot more dangerous than most people think due to the fact they burn at about 2,000 degrees.

That kind of heat is hot enough to melt some metals. 

"We all enjoy, setting off fireworks during the Fourth of July, and it's something that should always be a great time, not something where someone gets hurt," said Family Nurse Practitioner for BSA CareXpress.  

Although fireworks-related injuries top the list of ER visits during this time of year, alcohol-related injuries are actually more common. 

"One of the more common is actually not burn-related, it's actually alcohol-related," said Poage. "This includes driving under the influence, motor vehicle accidents, or alcohol intoxication, followed by heat-related injuries, heat-exhaustion or heat strokes."

Poage added the importance of remaining hydrated while you are out celebrating with family and friends. 

If fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak 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

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