Summer, Fun, and Fireworks Safety

Whether you enjoy barbeques, pool days, or traveling, summertime is meant for having fun and relaxing. Not a time for stress and worry because of firework-related injuries. This Fireworks Safety Month, KentuckyOne Health wants to remind everyone to be cautious while using fireworks by following proper safety precautions, so you can spend all your time focusing on summer fun!

“As the fourth of July approaches, and fireworks start taking over the retail shelves, I like to remind parents that no one is immune to firework-related injuries,” said Elkin Galvis, MD, Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center. “The best way to prevent them is by discussing safety precautions prior to the fourth of July holiday.”

In 2017, there was an increase across the United States in fireworks-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Fireworks Annual Report. An estimated 12,900 people were injured and treated in the hospital, averaging to about 280 people sent to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month of July.

In addition to bodily injuries, fireworks can also be damaging to property. Each year, fireworks cause an average of 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and 17,000 other fires, resulting in an estimated $21 million in direct property damage.

To help prevent injuries and damage this fourth of July season, KentuckyOne Health recommends the following tips:

  1. Follow all laws. Make sure you aware of the laws surrounding fireworks in your area.
  2. Supervise children. AT ALL TIMES. Safety precautions should be explained carefully prior to use and children that are viewing the fireworks should be kept at least 20 feet away from the activities to avoid injury.
  3. Practice caution when lighting fireworks.
    1. DO: Back at least 20-feet away to view once they are lit, read/follow directions on labels, and use eye protection.
    2. DON’T: Place your body over fireworks when lighting the fuse, point or throw a people/houses/cars/brush, ignite more than one at a time, try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully, make or use homemade products, or launch fireworks from glass or metal containers.
  4. Protect your pet. If you know your pet is easily stressed and doesn’t like loud noises, keep them indoors so they don’t run out into the street, knock things over, or injure themselves.
  5. Keep water nearby. To properly dispose of fireworks after they have taken off, douse them with water. In case of emergency, use the water to clean wounds before seeking medical attention and put out fires.

Emergencies happen when you least expect them, but KentuckyOne Health is always ready to respond. Each of our 6 ERs is staffed 24/7, including the Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center. Kleinert Kutz is world renowned for offering unmatched expertise in orthopedic, plastic, and general surgery, with more than five decades of experience. Learn more about our Emergency Care services.

If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 immediately or go to your nearest emergency room.