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Simple Ways to Prevent Fireworks Injuries
Experts' best advice: Leave lighting to professionals and enjoy the spectacle
-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
WEDNESDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Many Fourth of July fireworks-related injuries could be prevented with some common sense, according to experts who advise people to avoid using fireworks at home -- even if they're legal.
"There's no such thing as completely safe fireworks," Dr. Andrew Sama, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said in an ACEP news release. "A few minutes of well-intentioned fun can result in lifelong disabilities."
Every Independence Day, an average of about 200 people end up in the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Most of these injuries are burns and nearly half of these incidents involve people's hands and fingers. The CPSC notes that 34 percent of fireworks-related injuries affect people's eyes, head, face and ears.
Although sparklers may seem safe, they carry hazards as well. A sparkler can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is as hot as a blowtorch, according to the release.
The ACEP recommended the following fireworks Dos and Don'ts to ensure people's safety this year:
"The safest and only thing you should do is watch a professional fireworks display managed by experts who have proper training and experience handling these explosives," Sama recommended. "Have fun and enjoy this great American holiday. As always, we'll be ready to treat you, but we don't want to have to see you in the ER."
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provides more fireworks safety tips.