Stay Safe and Social Distance This Fourth Of July
With fewer options for the Fourth of July weekend because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people might try to create their own fireworks show this weekend. But experts warn those attempts to entertain at home could lead to a trip to the Emergency Department or even worse.
The Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that an average of 180 people go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries every day during this time of year. Fireworks resulted in at least 12 deaths and more than 10,000 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2019, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The AAP is part of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, “a group of health and safety organizations that urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and to only enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.”
“Our big fear right now is that with everyone staying home, we will have more 'do-it-yourself’ firework shows at people’s homes and that will mean more injuries,” said Sharon Evans, Trauma Injury Prevention Coordinator at Cook Children’s.
Firework-Related Injury Facts
- The types of fireworks that cause the most injuries are firecrackers, sparklers and bottle rockets.
- The most frequently injured body parts are the hands, head/neck and eyes.
- Burns are the most common injury. Cuts, bumps and bruises are the most common injuries to the head.
- In addition to blindness, third degree burns and permanent scarring, fireworks can also cause life-threatening home and motor vehicle fires.
Who Is At Risk?
- Boys are two times more likely than girls to be injured by fireworks.
- Children younger than 15 account for 1 out of 4 firework-related injuries.
- Most firework-related injuries occur around the 4th of July.
The AAP recommends that if you do go out to watch fireworks, to try to watch it from your home or somewhere you can safely follow social distancing rules. The safest option is to stay home and watch televised events.