Prevent Independence Day injuries

Families across the nation will be celebrating the Fourth of July this weekend – but far too often, celebrations are put on hold because of preventable injuries.

Physician Assistant Amanda Shumway with Intermountain Medical Center Trauma Services offers some advice on how to keep the celebrations going, without a trip to the emergency room.

Many of these injuries are serious, and — you guessed it — most are burns. The top 3 most injured body parts are:
1. Eyes
2. Face
3. Hands
Avoiding the most dangerous fireworks and using some simple common-sense guidelines can help you enjoy the celebration injury free.

If you do have home fireworks, follow these safety guidelines:
·Kids should never play with fireworks. Adults should supervise and light all fireworks.
·Do not give children sparklers. Sparklers can reach 1800 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to melt gold.
·Buy only legal fireworks and store them in a cool, dry place.
·Never try to make your own fireworks.
·Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.
·Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone – even in jest.
·Don’t hold fireworks in your hand while lighting.
·Point fireworks away from homes, brush, leaves and flammable substances. (Local fire departments respond to more than 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.)
·Light one firework at a time, and never relight a dud.
·Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.
·Remember small children may become frightened by loud noises. It’s best to keep them indoors during fireworks displays.
·Think about your pets. Animals have sensitive ears and are easily spooked by fireworks. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk they will get injured.
If the unthinkable happens, here are some suggestions:
·Go immediately to a doctor or hospital.
·Don’t flush an injured eye with water or attempt to put ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, put it around the eye and seek immediate medical attention – your eyesight may depend on it.
·If the injury is a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn. Call your doctor immediately.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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