Gundersen experts warn about the dangers of using fireworks
Summer is in full swing, the barbecues are heating up and fireworks stands are popping up around the area. It’s important to remember that fireworks have the potential to be dangerous for both children and adults.
“Each year we see injuries that result from fireworks, many of which were caused by sparklers,” says Megan Anderson, Gundersen trauma and injury prevention coordinator. "Burns on the hands and face are the most prominent injuries we see. Eye injuries can also occur if fireworks are used improperly. While some of the minor burn injuries might heal over time, the more severe burns and eye wounds can cause irreversible damage.”
Megan says that the best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.
If you do set off fireworks at home, Megan offers the following tips for handling fireworks safely:
- With all fireworks distance is important. The farther you are away from an explosion the better.
- As a rule, never look down the barrel of a firework. That is like looking down the barrel of a loaded gun.
- All fireworks should be used under adult supervision.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- When using fireworks, treat them as if the unexpected can happen.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water
- Always have a bucket of water and water hose nearby
- Let young children use glow sticks instead of sparklers. They can be just as fun but don’t burn at the 1,200 degrees that sparklers do.