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Fireworks Injuries Can Happen to You

Fourth of July weekend means loud sounds and bright flashes of fireworks to light up the night.  Although they add enjoyment to countless people’s celebrations, it’s always important to remember proper firework safety because nothing ruins the 4th of July like a trip to the emergency room.

Don’t think it will happen to you? Each and every year WakeMed sees both adult and pediatric patients in our emergency departments with injuries from fireworks.  Fireworks ARE dangerous and should be treated as such.

This year, let’s prevent firework injuries this 4th of July by:

  • NEVER allowing children and adolescents around fireworks alone
  • Making sure to use fireworks properly.  Many injuries are a result of improper use (such as holding the fireworks, etc.).  Always read the warning labels and instructions before use.
  • Having a bucket of water close-by (for used fireworks and for emergencies)
  • Ensuring that the firework is completely finished before getting near it
  • Never using illegal fireworks—they are more likely to cause injury.  (This includes the fireworks your neighbor made the special trip to South Carolina to purchase.)
  • Always protect your eyes— firework accidents can cause permanent burns and blindness

Although fireworks are often used as a fun finish to the 4th of July, just remember that they can have very serious, lasting consequences if used incorrectly or unsupervised.

Samy Saad is an emergency department physician with Wake Emergency Physicians, the physicians group that staffs all five WakeMed emergency departments.

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