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Fireworks-Related Burn Injuries Facts
In 2009, firework devices were involved in two deaths and nearly 9,000 injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in the U.S.
• More than half of all injuries were burns.
• Two-thirds of injuries occur in the days surrounding the July 4th holiday.
• Males accounted for three-fourths of all injuries.
• Children under age 15 are at greatest risk of injury, accounting for 40% of all injuries.
• Eight out of every 100 injuries required hospital admission or transfer to a burn center.
• The hands, eyes, and, head/face were the parts of the body most commonly injured.
• Firecrackers and sparklers accounted for more than one-third of all injuries. Rockets, fountains, and roman candles also accounted for injuries.
• Sparklers and rockets accounted for three-fourths of injuries to children under age five.
• Injuries can be caused by errant flight paths of aerial fireworks, fireworks exploding earlier or later than expected, tipover, and debris/hot material from the fireworks device.
Recommendations to Help Prevent Fireworks-Related Injuries
• Before using fireworks, be sure they are permitted. Check with your local police or fire department to determine what fireworks can be legally discharged in your area.
• Use fireworks outdoors only.
• Never build or experiment with homemade fireworks or illegal explosives. They can seriously injure or kill. Report illegal explosives to the fire or police deparment in your community.
• Read all warnings and instructions.
• Never allow children under 12 to handle or ignite fireworks. Even sparklers burn at 2,000° F!
• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter".
• Be sure other people are out of range and warned before lighting fireworks.
• Never hold fireworks while trying to ignite them.
• Light only one firework at a time and then move away quickly.
• Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from houses. Never light fireworks near dry leaves, brush, or flammable materials.
• Never try to relight fireworks that have not functioned properly.
• Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of a malfunction.
• Contact the fire department if a fire starts.
This information brought to you by:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
National Council On Fireworks Safety, Inc.
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