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As many Americans hope to celebrate the Fourth of July with family and friends, injuries from fireworks increased 25% in the US between 2006 and 2021, according to a new report from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). fireworks injuries last year.
“It is imperative that consumers are aware of the risks involved in using fireworks so that injuries and tragedies can be prevented. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch professional displays,” said CPSC Chairman, Alex Hoehn-Saric, in a press release about the report.
“CPSC’s Office of Enforcement and Field Operations continues to work closely with other federal agencies to prevent the sale of illegal consumer fireworks.”
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Approximately 11,500 people attended the injury emergency room related to fireworks in 2021, which was down from 15,600 injuries treated in the ER in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic when many public displays were canceled, according to the report.
74% of all fireworks-related injuries in 2021 occurred in the weeks before and after July 4 last year, with the highest estimated rate of emergency department visits in the 20-24 age group.
Hands and fingers were the most commonly injured body parts, followed by the head, face, and ears in 2021. Approximately 34% of injuries occurred to the arms, legs, or trunk.
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About one-third of fireworks-related injuries treated in the emergency department in 2021 were from burns, while about 31% of fireworks screened and tested contained noncompliant components, according to the report.
And a national survey by the University of Michigan recalls that children should also be aware of the safety of fireworks.
“For many families, setting off fireworks is a favorite summer tradition, but fireworks are unpredictable. It’s essential that parents keep children away from where those fireworks are lit,” said Sarah Clark, co-director of a recent study from the University of Michigan. Health CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Survey of Children’s Health.
“Our survey suggests that some parents may need to be more diligent in ensuring a safe environment that minimizes these risks and protects children from fireworks injuries.”
More than half of the parents in the survey reported that someone in the family or in their neighborhood set off fireworks in the previous two years.
But the survey reported that only one in five children sat at least 100 feet away from where aerial fireworks were being shot.
“Parents differ on the age at which they would allow their children to participate in shooting fireworks,” Clark said in the news release.
“But parents need to make sure children are the right age and maturity level to understand the dangers involved and the importance of carefully following all safety rules. If the child isn’t ready to do these things, their risk of burns, eye injuries and other accidents is increasing.”
Parents often see sparklers as a safer alternative for children, but there were 1,100 emergency department-related injuries due to sparklers in 2021, according to the CPSC report.
Sparklers can burn at over 1,000 degrees, which can cause serious burn injuries if not handled correctly, Clark said.
“Children need to hold the sparkler an arm’s length away from their own eyes, hair, and clothing. Much of the fun of sparklers is spinning or shaking them, which can make it a challenge for parents to make sure there’s enough distance between the children. said the Mott Poll Report.
“Parents may think that sparklers are a safe way for younger children to enjoy summer celebrations. But these are portable fireworks that can reach temperatures high enough to burn some metals,” Clark said in the statement. of press.
“Sparklers are only safe if parents enforce all safety measures and children follow them.”
Here are some others fireworks safety tips from the press release:
- Only buy legal fireworks that are labeled for consumer use.
- Wear eye protection if you light fireworks.
- Be at least 100 feet away from where the fireworks are being launched.
- Light only one firework at a time.
- Never point or throw fireworks or sparklers at anyone.
- Have a bucket of water or a garden hose in case of an emergency.
- Put the sparkler in a bucket of water after use.
- Make sure children wear shoes around fireworks.
“Be prepared to use first aid. For a minor burn, place a towel soaked in cool water over the area for about five minutes. Then cover with a clean bandage and give your child acetaminophen to reduce pain and swelling,” says Dr. release.
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“For a major burn, or if the burn involves the eyes, take the child to the emergency room right away.”