The summer heat, the smell of hamburgers on the grill, and the sound of fireworks can only mean one thing: It's the Fourth of July. I love fireworks as much as the next guy. What a great way to celebrate our country's birthday. As a kid I couldn't wait to watch my Dad along with other dad's and older kids fire off their arsenals.
But before your family celebrates, make sure everyone knows about fireworks safety. If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burn and eye injuries in kids and adults.
This unlucky blast-test dummy was the star of the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s annual July press event on the National Mall in Washington. The commission, which regulates fireworks’ explosive power, here vividly shows the potential of pyrotechnics for bodily harm. The mannequin’s Styrofoam head, filled with cornmeal to simulate brains, was close to a professional-grade explosive, with a “quick match” fuse that burns almost instantaneously. (Consumer-grade pyrotechnics have a six-second fuse.)
The commission estimates that fireworks were responsible for 9,000 injuries in the U.S. last year. Most of the injuries from firecrackers and sparklers are burns and cuts, but the decapitation demonstration is a reminder that the night can end in other ways.
If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If aneye injuryoccurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. Also, don't flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention — your child's eyesight may depend on it. If it's a burn , remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn (do not use ice). Call your doctor immediately.
Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed, but you'll enjoy them much more knowing your family is safe. Take extra precautions this Fourth of July and your holiday will be a blast! Sean
photo credit: popsci.com