Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s Trauma Services Department and the Safe Kids Coalition of Miami-Dade County remind families to keep safety a priority this Independence Day. All fireworks, including sparklers, can cause severe burns and scars. According to studies conducted by the Pediatric Academic Societies, over 90,000 pediatric fireworks-related injuries were treated in hospitals from 2006 to 2012. These ranged from minor burns to loss of vision to amputation of limbs.
Here are safety tips to help parents and caregivers prepare for the Fourth of July holiday:
Leave fireworks to the professionals:
- 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.
Be extra careful with sparklers:
- Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can reach temperatures of up to 1,200 degrees.
- Let your young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.
- Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.
Take necessary precautions:
- Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
- Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
- Point fireworks away from homes and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.
Be prepared for an accident or injury:
- Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
- Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
If a child is injured by fireworks, go to a doctor or hospital to seek immediate care. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. For more information and additional safety tips for your family, please visit www.safekids.org