Tips for a safe July 4

Tue, 06/27/2006 - 2:56pm
By: The Citizen

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more than 4,000 children ages 14 and under are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for injuries involving fireworks each year. Most of these injuries occur in the few weeks before and after July 4. Children ages 5 to 9 have the highest rate of injury from fireworks.

“Don’t let kids play with fireworks, period,” said Carol Ball, manager of accidental injury prevention at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “They’re intended for use by adults in open spaces, with plenty of active supervision for every child present.”

Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing. “Teach your children what to do if their clothing catches on fire — ‘stop, drop and roll’ — and how to call 911 in an emergency,” said Ball.

In addition, Children’s recommends these precautions for adults using fireworks:

•Light fireworks only on smooth, flat surfaces, and aim them away from buildings, dry leaves, flammable materials and spectators.

•Do not try to relight fireworks that malfunction.

•Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or hold them close to your face.

•Visit to make sure the pyrotechnic devices you are using are not subject to any safety recalls. Do not modify fireworks or use homemade fireworks.

•Keep a phone handy, and know first aid for burns. Also, keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.

Finally, as in any activity involving hazardous equipment, keep all children under active supervision — in sight and in reach at all times, with your undivided attention focused on them — when they’re near fireworks. “The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them at a community event where professionals handle them,” said Ball.

For more information about fireworks safety and burn prevention, contact 404-250-KIDS or visit

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