SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) – Doctors and nurses at the University of Utah Medical Center are expecting to see 50 to 100 fireworks related injuries over the next few nights. They say that number could be zero if people followed a few simple rules.
Rule number one: don’t let kids under 18 shoot fireworks. That’s commonly broken here in Utah.
“Across the valley right now I guarantee you there is a child that is not having parental supervision that is playing with fireworks right now,” Brad Wiggins said Monday.
Wiggins is the Nurse Manager at the University of Utah Medical Center. He says sparklers are especially dangerous for young kids because they burn hotter than a blowtorch.
“Sparkler’s temperatures get to about 2000 degrees and can give you a significant 3rd degree burn in less than one second,” Wiggins explained. “They hold it actually where the chemical is that burns and it ignites and that actually contributes to a significant amount of damage. I’ve seen people lose fingers from those types of injuries requiring skin grafting procedures and a lengthy hospital stay because of that.”
Here are some more “Don’ts” from the American Burn Association:
-Don’t Attempt to alter, modify or relight fireworks
-Don’t Point or throw lit fireworks at anyone
Also make sure the fuses are the only thing getting lit. The ABA suggests to “Do”:
-Have a designated sober adult light all legal fireworks and
-Light one firework at a time and move away quickly
Better yet, skip the driveway pyrotechnics and go see a professional display.
“We really want people to consider letting the professionals do the work,” Wiggins said. “We have professional shows all over the state of Utah. They really are a good place to provide a lot of safety for you and your family.”
If you are going to shoot off your own fireworks, Wiggins says to make sure to have a bucket of water, a working hose or even a fire extinguisher close by.