Tips to enjoy fireworks safely this Fourth of July

Children are the most common victims of firework accidents, with those 15 years old or younger accounting for half of all fireworks eye injuries in the United States. Credit: Getty
Children are the most common victims of firework accidents, with those 15 or younger accounting for half of all fireworks eye injuries in the United States. Credit: Getty

Every July, fireworks crackle and sizzle in celebration of Independence Day. While most spinners and firecrackers successfully illuminate the night sky, thousands of misfires cause significant harm to revelers with little experience in pyrotechnics.

“Too many Fourth of July celebrations are ruined because a child has to be rushed to the emergency room after a fireworks accident,” said Dr. Kenneth Cheng, a pediatric ophthalmologist at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, of the more than 9,000 fireworks-related injuries each year, 30 percent of injuries involve the eyes and one-fourth of fireworks eye injuries result in partial loss of vision or blindness. In the lead-up to the Fourth of July, the academy is urging people to let professionals handle the fireworks shows. With children by far the most common victims of firework accidents, the best ways to minimize potential injuries include establishing safety barriers, keeping a safe distance away from a lit firework and staying away from unexploded fireworks.

Each year, the $900 million fireworks industry sees approximately three and half injuries per 100 pounds of fireworks used. The device that causes the most injuries is also the loudest, with 32 percent of all fireworks injuries stemming from firecrackers. Though maybe the least exciting fireworks, hand-held sparklers are the most dangerous to young children, as they blaze at a temperature scalding enough to cause a third-degree burn.

“The best way to reduce injuries is to designate a shooter and use the fireworks as they are intended,” said Ralph Apel, spokesman for the National Council on Fireworks Safety.

“If consumers know their fireworks and use them responsibly, we should see a decrease in injuries.”

The Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology’s safety tips:

  • Never let children play with fireworks of any type.
  • View fireworks from a safe distance: at least 500 feet away, or up to a quarter of a mile for best viewing.
  • Respect safety barriers set up to allow pyrotechnicians to do their jobs safely.
  • Leave the lighting of fireworks to trained professionals.
  • Follow directions given by event ushers or public safety personnel.
  • If you get an eye injury from fireworks, seek medical help immediately.
  • Sparklers can burn at nearly 2,000F, hot enough to cause a third-degree burn. They account for one-third of all fireworks injuries.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

Movies

Dakota Fanning's indie growing pains on 'Very Good…

Dakota Fanning on her latest "Very Good Girls."

Entertainment

Britney Spears launches new lingerie line and fans…

Women everywhere can say that they are not that innocent when Britney Spears launches her new lingerie and loungewear line. “Every woman should feel confident…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…