A Pediatrician's Advice for a Safe and Fun Fourth of July
By Michelle Bailey, M.D.
I absolutely love fireworks, something about the smell of the burning punk, after eating a barbequed hamburger followed by homemade peach cobbler…. It’s just the best. Watching the beautiful fountains explode in an array of colors, and then hearing the large BOOM from the awesome reloadable shell fireworks, it’s classic Americana. This year, more people will be gathering for Fourth of July celebrations, so let’s make sure we make it a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
Firework-related injuries require trips to the ER 11,000 times per year. Sixty percent of injuries are burns. The hand and fingers are the most likely injured body part, followed by the head/ face, and eye. One third of eye injuries caused by fireworks result in blindness. Kids age 10-19 are the most likely age group to be injured by fireworks. Sparklers are the most likely firework to cause injury in a child less than 5 years old.
If you choose to shoot off fireworks at your home, follows these safety tips:
- First check if fireworks are legal in your neighborhood, county and city. Do not light fireworks even if they are legal during a burn ban.
- Light the fireworks at a safe distance from spectators, and over a piece of plywood instead of on top of dry grass.
- Keep a water hose close.
- Never re-light fireworks that failed.
- Children should be under strict adult supervision, Remember, sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees and are one of the leading causes of fireworks injuries.
- I should not have to say this, but do NOT shoot fireworks at your friends!
- If you are injured, go to the ER immediately; firework injuries usually cannot be treated at home.
I’m a board-certified pediatrician, passionate about ensuring the well-being of patients ranging from newborn through late teens.
I attended medical school at the University of Oklahoma (Boomer!), and completed my pediatric residency in Houston.
Since the completion of residency, I’ve worked in outpatient clinics and enjoy not only caring for my young patients, but becoming a part of every family by building long-lasting, trusting relationships. While I treat common and not-so-common childhood infections and diseases, I especially have a passion for asthma and allergies, nutrition, and ADHD along with other learning disorders.
I’m married and we have a rescue dog named Jack. When not at work, I enjoy attending cultural events and traveling. To make an appointment with Dr. Bailey, click here or call 682-303-1000.