The rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air… No holiday captures the pyrotechnic glory of summer like Independence Day. But if you intend to set off some sparklers (or something more powerful) yourself, consider some of these facts and injury prevention tips from Theresa Baker, trauma outreach and prevention coordinator at University of Louisville Hospital:
· Don’t mix alcohol with fireworks
· Don’t leave fireworks unattended
· Buy only legal fireworks
· Keep a bucket of water nearby while setting off fireworks
· Keep fireworks out of the reach of children and teenagers (risk of injury is more than twice as high for children ages 10-14 compared with the general population)
· Fireworks burns are worse than many other types of burns because of their intensity. Even a sparkler’s tip burns at more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to cause third-degree burns.
Of course, there will always be accidents, so Baker has some simple advice for the best way to enjoy fireworks safely. “Leave fireworks to the professionals. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public event.”
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