Safe Kids Worldwide reports that more than 3,000 children under the age of 15 are sent to the emergency room each year in the United States because of fireworks. Sparklers, which are typically viewed by parents as relatively harmless fireworks for children, account for one-third of the injuries to children under five.
McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal reminds families to take caution with these safety tips:
1. Leave fireworks to professionals:
• The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.
• If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.
2. Be extra careful with sparklers:
• Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. Let your young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun but they do not burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.
• Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.
3. Take necessary precautions:
• Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
• Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
• Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.
4. Be prepared for an accident or injury:
• Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
• Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
• If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, do not allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.
To learn more safety tips, visit www.safekids.org/safetytips or call McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal at (843) 777-5021 to speak to an Injury Prevention Specialist. Visit us at McLeodSafeKids.org or on Facebook under McLeod Safe Kids.
McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal is funded in part by the McLeod Health Foundation.