As we approach the Fourth of July celebration, we think of barbecues, parades and fireworks. Along with family gatherings, this is about the time we see thousands of injuries and trips to the local emergency room related to fireworks. In 2016, the Consumer Products Safety Commission reported 11,000 fireworks-related injuries and four deaths, and more fires are reported during July 4th than any other holiday. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks cause an average of 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires resulting in thousands of injuries.
The key message here – it’s best to leave the fireworks to the experts. However, history proves that people are going to continue celebrating with fireworks on their own. Here’s what you can do to educate patients about the dangers of fireworks through your website, social media platforms and on-hold messaging.
The Fireworks Breakdown
Sparklers are the go-to firework for kids, especially during parades. However, most parents don’t realize that they burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. It’s important to educate parents about the dangers of sparklers, including the fact that they can quickly ignite clothing. Many children have also experienced severe burns by dropping them on their feet.
These small rockets that are attached to sticks are known to be used during teen bottle rocket wars. Teens fire them at one another, which can result in chest, head and eye injuries. According to the Vanderbilt Eye Institute and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the numerous amount of eye injuries caused by bottle rockets that they have seen has resulted in a study they hope will lead to better education and legislative enhancements on fireworks safety.
Firecrackers are loud and designed to be thrown on the ground and explode on impact but can cause burns and serious injuries if not handled properly.
These popular fireworks eject multiple exploding shells from a tube the user holds in their hand. They are beautiful to watch but unfortunately, there have been numerous reports of children losing fingers and experiencing severe burns and other injuries, which sometimes occur when the device gets jammed.
Recommended Safety Tips
- Know your fireworks and read all the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before lighting up.
- Wear safety gear including goggles and gloves when shooting fireworks.
- Use fireworks outdoors only in a clear area away from people, buildings and structures.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water before disposing of it.
- A responsible adult should always supervise all fireworks activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Light one firework at a time, then move away quickly.
- Obey all local laws regarding fireworks.
- Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix.
- Dispose of used fireworks properly by wetting them down and placing them in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials. Wait until the next day to dispose of them.
For more information on how you can help patients #CelebrateSafely, click here. Want to learn more about how to improve patient engagement and communication? Download our free report Patient Engagement: Improve Communication, Improve Care now.