LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 2, 2010) - Fireworks are a staple of the summer holidays as they punctuate the night sky with color and the unmistakable "boom." In the midst of these displays, it might be easy to forget that fireworks can be not only dangerous but deadly. In this video, Dr. Ryan Stanton, adult emergency medical director at UK Chandler Emergency Department and UK HealthCare Good Samaritan Hospital, describes the fireworks injuries that send thousands to the emergency room every year.
He also offers these safety tips:
1. The best way to enjoy fireworks is at a distance. However, if you're determined to have fireworks, buy them legally. Fireworks sold by unregulated manufacturers can be too powerful as well as unpredictable.
2. Don't put fireworks in a glass or metal container. If they should explode, the container becomes grenade-like, sending shrapnel flying.
3. Be prepared with a bucket of water and hose in case of fire, and have a cell phone nearby so you can call 911.
4. Children should watch at a distance. They should never handle fireworks, including sparklers, which can cause burns to the eye.
5. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Impaired judgment and delayed reflexes spell trouble, especially when combined with fireworks.
6. Wear loose clothing that can be removed quickly if it were to catch fire.
7. Never handle lit fireworks. You never know how quickly the wick will burn or if the wick is too short. Most fireworks injuries involve injuries to the hands that can be life-altering.
8. Never relight fireworks. They can explode in the process and are not worth the risk.
9. Dispose of fireworks properly, according to the instructions. Simply tossing them in the trash creates a fire hazard.
10. Don't use fireworks close to houses or dry grass and brush. This increases the risk of housefires and wildfires.