Safety Tips: 4th of July 2023

4th of july firework safety tips from Axes physical therapy in st louis missouri

It’s sweet summertime – one of my favorite times of the year. As we gear up to celebrate Independence Day, it’s important to prioritize safety and ensure a memorable and accident-free experience. At Axes Physical Therapy, we care about your well-being and want to remind you of some essential safety tips to make your celebration enjoyable for everyone involved. 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
    • Before using fireworks, carefully read all labels and instructions. Don’t assume you know how a firework will behave when ignited. Each firework may have specific guidelines and safety precautions to follow, so familiarize yourself with them to minimize the risk of accidents.
  2. Designate a Responsible Firework Handler
    • Ensure that a responsible adult, who is not under the influence of alcohol or substances impairing balance or judgment, is designated as the “firework lighter.” This person should have a clear understanding of firework safety procedures and should be attentive and cautious while handling and igniting fireworks.
  3. Notify and Create a Safe Area
    • Inform those around you about your plans to ignite fireworks and ensure they are at a safe distance from the designated area. Keep fireworks away from trees, shelters, or shrubbery that could easily catch fire. It’s crucial to maintain a safe perimeter to prevent any potential accidents.
  4. Protect Your Eyes
    • Always wear protective eyewear when handling and igniting fireworks. This simple step can safeguard your eyes from potential debris, sparks, or other projectiles that may cause eye injuries. Prioritize eye safety and encourage others to do the same.
  5. Have a Water Source Nearby
    • Be prepared for unexpected incidents by keeping a bucket of water or a hose nearby. This water source will come in handy for extinguishing small fires or soaking spent fireworks before discarding them. Quick access to water can help prevent accidents from escalating.
  6. Supervise Children and Teens
    • Keep a watchful eye on children and teenagers when fireworks are involved. It’s important to supervise them closely and ensure they understand the potential dangers. Restrict access to fireworks and explain the importance of following safety guidelines to prevent accidents and injuries.
  7. Never Relight or Hold Onto Duds
    • If a firework fails to ignite or doesn’t go off, never attempt to relight it. Wait for at least 20 minutes, then soak it in water before disposing of it properly. Additionally, avoid holding onto lit fireworks or leaning over them during the ignition or after they are lit. Maintain a safe distance to protect yourself from potential harm.
  8. Proper Firework Disposal
    • Dispose of used fireworks safely by allowing them to soak in water for several hours before discarding them. This precautionary step ensures that any remaining embers are fully extinguished, reducing the risk of accidental fires. Follow local guidelines for proper disposal to prevent any environmental hazards.
  9. Protect Your Pets!
    • Remember to consider the well-being of your furry friends during the festivities. Check the temperature of the ground by placing your hand on the pavement or asphalt for at least 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws. Protect their paw pads from burns by keeping them off hot surfaces or using protective booties.

By following these essential safety tips, you can have a fun and accident-free 4th of July celebration. Prioritize safety, stay vigilant, and encourage others to do the same. At Axes Physical Therapy, we wish you a memorable and safe Independence Day filled with joy and happiness!

Remember Axes Physical Therapy if you are sidelined by an injury and need to get back in the game of life. We h0pe you don’t need us, but we are here for you if you do.

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.