Fireworks Can Be Exciting And Dangerous
As we mark the Fourth of July in July 2023, it’s crucial to remember that this month is dedicated to promoting Fireworks Awareness and Safety. Last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 11 deaths related to non-occupational fireworks, with five deaths attributed to firework misuse, three to device misfire/malfunction, one to devise tip-over, and two incidents with unknown circumstances. Furthermore, about 10,200 injuries resulted from fireworks-related incidents in 2022. Eye injuries accounted for roughly 14% of all fireworks-related injuries last year. These injuries ranged from chemical and thermal burns to corneal abrasions and retinal detachment, which can result in permanent eye damage and vision loss.
It’s important to note that 65% of fireworks-related injuries happen to bystanders, including children and others who are not handling fireworks. Sparklers, in particular, may seem innocuous, but they can burn at temperatures exceeding 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and contribute to 1,495 injuries in 2022. The American Academy of Ophthalmology wants to remind everyone that fireworks are not toys but are flammable devices that can cause devastating eye injuries. Americans spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on consumer fireworks, with roughly 15,600 injuries resulting in emergency room visits in 2020. According to a 2017 study, there were approximately 13,000 fireworks-related injuries and eight deaths, with seemingly innocent fireworks devices like sparklers being responsible for 1,200 injuries. Injuries and deaths related to fireworks from 2017 to 2020 increased by 20% and 125%, respectively. Let’s celebrate this month safely and responsibly.
Burn Injuries And Fireworks
The National Safety Council suggests that consumers avoid fireworks and attend public displays where fireworks professionals are managing the fireworks. Fireworks that cause the most injuries are firecrackers, sparklers, and bottle rockets. Approximately 50% of the injuries involve burns. The most common injury from fireworks is a finger or hand with a burn. A minor burn causes redness and pain, and blisters result from serious burns. White leathery skin and damage under the skin are the results of serious burns. Burn injuries can affect muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels, and damage the respiratory system. Therefore, causing possible airway obstruction, respiratory failure, and respiratory arrest.
Types of Fireworks
- Roman candles.
- Bottle rockets.
- Fire flowers.
Fireworks Smoke And Their Particles.
Fireworks smoke consists of two types of particulate matter; course particulates (PM10) and fine particulates (PM2.5). it is important to note that short-term exposure to fine particle pollution can pose health concerns for those with respiratory conditions. Especially for children, and older adults. PM and gases emitted from fireworks also trigger cardiovascular diseases, reduce lung function and facilitate the worsening of respiratory illnesses, including asthma.
Rules To Follow (Holidaysmart.com And NSC):
- Obey the laws of your state.
- Do not handle fireworks under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- You should not ignite fireworks indoors or an inside a container
- Remain a significant distance away from the fireworks.
- Children should not handle fireworks, including sparkles (they burn at 2,000 degrees).
- Adults should always supervise minors.
- Relighting Don’t try to re-light malfunctioning fireworks.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of having to extinguish the fire or malfunctioning fireworks.
- Throwing fireworks at someone is not safe.
- Older children should use fireworks only under close adult supervision
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
- Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
- Always use them away from people, houses, and flammable material
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Re-lighting or handling malfunctioning fireworks is unsafe.
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire
- Never use illegal fireworks
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following if you experience an eye injury due to Fireworks
- Seek medical attention immediately
- Do not rub your eyes
- Avoid rinsing your eyes.
- No pressure
- Leave any objects that are stuck in the eye.
- Applying ointments or taking any blood-thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen is a no unless directed by a doctor.
During these times when you are enjoying fireworks remember that a safe distance from fireworks is anywhere between 35–150 feet. Studies show that on Independence Day fireworks introduce 42% more pollutants into the air than that found on a typical day.
Celebrate the Fourth of July, have fun, and be safe. Contact us if you have questions about Fireworks Safety and see us immediately if you experience any eye injuries due to fireworks.