4th of July Safety Tips (2021)

4th of july firework safety tips

It’s sweet summertime – one of my favorite times of the year. I’m not here to rain on your holiday parade, but we need to talk about 4th of July Safety Tips!

Each year typically between June and July, thousands of injuries occur due to fireworks. Despite the dangers, few people understand the associated risks due to fireworks. In 2017, emergency room departments treated close to 13,000 individuals due to burns with 54% of injuries occurring in the hands and digits and 36% occurring to the head and face. “Children ages 10 to 14 had the highest rate of fireworks injury, with more than one-third (36%) of the victims of fireworks injuries under age 15,” all according to the National Fire Protection Association.

The top 3 kinds of fireworks that were commonly contributing to the injuries are firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers (sorry parents!) Just to put in perspective, a cake bakes at 350 degrees F. Sparklers can burn anywhere from 1200 to 2000 degrees F. and 0ver 50% of sparkler injuries typically occur to children and teens. The best solution is to watch a local professional firework display, but if you find yourself needing to handle fireworks, here are some crucial 4th of July Safety Tips:

  1. Read all labels before using fireworks – don’t assume you know how it is going to behave when ignited
  2. Always have a responsible adult designated as the “firework lighter” – who is not consuming alcohol or other substances that would impair balance or judgement when using or igniting fireworks
  3. Ensure that others nearby are aware of plans to ignite fireworks and away from trees, shelters, or shrubbery
  4. Wear protective eyewear
  5. Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby for unexpected incidents, soaking spent fireworks before discarding
  6. Supervise children and teens near fireworks
  7. NEVER relight a dud firework and only attempt to light one at a time
  8. NEVER lean over a firework when lighting or after lit (keep head and face away)
  9. NEVER hold onto a lit firework
  10. Dispose all fireworks properly by allowing used fireworks to soak in water for several hours before discarding

We hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July!

Julie Freiner is a certified hand therapist at axes physical therapy in o'fallon, mo.

To schedule an appointment with any of our expert physical therapists, request an appointment online today.