Have a fun—but safe—fourth of July

July 1, 2014
Have a fun -- but safe -- fourth of july
Hands, head, eyes at greatest risk for injury with at-home fireworks, expert says.

(HealthDay)—Your hands, fingers, head and eyes are at greatest risk for injury if you set off fireworks at home, a doctor warns.

"Fireworks are basically explosives and all are capable of causing , but even minor injuries can cause significant functional disability when it comes to hand and eye function," Dr. John Santaniello, a trauma surgeon at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., said in a Loyola news release.

"Fireworks are not toys," he added.

Hands and fingers account for the largest number (32 percent) of reported injuries caused by , according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The head and eyes account for 19 and 18 percent of reported fireworks-related injuries, respectively.

Along with the physical effects, fireworks-related injuries are costly. One study that used data from several states found that the average cost of a hospital stay related to a fireworks-related amputation of a finger, thumb or lower arm was $15,600. Total costs for all fireworks-related injuries in the study were $1.4 million.

Loyola offered these fireworks safety tips:

  • The safest way to celebrate Independence Day is to attend a community fireworks display staged by professionals.
  • If you decide to have fireworks at home, use only legal ones and read and follow all directions. Never approach a fireworks device after it has been lit, even if it appears to have gone out. It may explode unexpectedly.
  • Make sure the area where you have fireworks isn't too dry. Have fire extinguishers and water hoses within easy reach, but always call 911 immediately if a fire starts.
  • Give children glow-in-the-dark wands and noisemakers instead of firecrackers and sparklers. Teach children about the dangers of fireworks.
  • If someone is injured by fireworks, summon medical help immediately.

Explore further: Simple ways to prevent fireworks injuries

More information: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers more fireworks safety tips.

Related Stories

Simple ways to prevent fireworks injuries

July 3, 2013
(HealthDay)—Many Fourth of July fireworks-related injuries could be prevented with some common sense, according to experts who advise people to avoid using fireworks at home—even if they're legal.

Fireworks displays spark safety concerns

June 30, 2013
(HealthDay)—Fireworks add sparkle to Independence Day festivities but they need to be handled with care—and by adults, a prominent group of U.S. surgeons says.

The Medical Minute: Fireworks are beautiful but for professionals only

July 2, 2012
Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed, but you'll appreciate them much more this Independence Day and all summer knowing your family is safe. Fireworks can be fun to watch, but they can also be very dangerous. Don’t ever ...

The Medical Minute: Fireworks -- beautiful but only for professionals

July 1, 2011
The Fourth of July is a time for celebration across the country and fireworks are a crowd favorite each year. While fireworks can be fun to watch, they also can be very dangerous.

Doctors urge caution with July Fourth fireworks

July 2, 2012
The Fourth of July is a day of picnics, parades and celebrations, and nothing quite says Independence Day like fireworks. However, doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center urge caution with consumer fireworks and suggest ...

Recommended for you

Group suggests pushing age of adolescence to 24

January 22, 2018
A small group of researchers with the Royal Children's Hospital in Australia is suggesting that it might be time to change the span of years that define adolescence—from the current 10 to 19 to a proposed 10 to 24 years ...

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.