Due to budget constraints, some communities are planning to cut fireworks displays this Fourth of July, which may mean an increase in fireworks-related burn injuries.
"I worry that more parents will resort to using backyard fireworks displays and that we will see more burn injuries," said Mary Mondozzi, RN, MSN, burn education coordinator at Akron Children’s Hospital.
Akron Children's Paul and Carol David Foundation Burn Institute, which provides specialized care to both children and adults, typically sees an increase in fireworks-related burns the two weeks before and after the Fourth of July.
While she recommends that families attend professional firework displays, Mondozzi knows people will always buy commercial fireworks. Reading package directions and following precautions are the keys to reducing the risk of injury.
"Hand-held sparklers look rather tame but they account for half of burn injuries we see in children 5 and younger," said Mondozzi. "Sparklers can reach temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit so they cannot only cause burns, but also start fires."
To keep your Independence Day safe, Mondozzi recommends:
Only adults should handle fireworks. Tell children that they should leave the area immediately if their friends are playing with fireworks.
Discuss safety procedures with your children. Teach them to "cover your face, stop, drop and roll" if their clothes catch fire. Make sure they know how to call 911. Show them how to put out fireworks by using water or a fire extinguisher.
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