Fireworks Safety

As you begin the month of July with warm weather, family events, fun times with memories, before you start to celebrate make sure everyone has an understanding of fireworks safety.
Those bright colored lights of fireworks spark excitement in children however; they do not understand the dangers associated with handling them. These festivities are intended to be excited and fun, but the celebration can quickly turn into a nightmare.
In most residential areas lighting of fireworks are legal. If you aren’t sure we suggest you check with your local officials. If you will be using fireworks at home please keep these important tips in mind:
·         Things like firecrackers, rockets, and even sparklers are and can be dangerous. If you give your children a sparkler, make sure they are held outside away from clothing, chairs, face and hair. Sparklers can reach up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.
·         Buy only legal fireworks. The average person does not have the knowledge of fireworks and this could be dangerous or deadly. Always be sure they are labeled and read the directions prior to igniting them.
·         Store them in a cool dry place, high temperatures can set them off, without the need for a flame.
·         Always use outside and have a bucket with a little water in to put burned out items in. Also have a garden hose nearby in case of any accidents.
·         Steer clear, fireworks have been known to misfire or shoot off in the wrong direction.
·         Avoid carrying fireworks in your pockets; the friction could set them off.
·         Keep away from homes, brushes and leaves.
·         Light one firework at a time and never attempt to relight a dud or a malfunctioned firework.
·         Do not allow kids to pick up the shards of burn out fireworks, they can still be hot or worse yet may still be ignited and explode at any time.
·         Never set fireworks off in a glass or metal containers.
Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed; you will enjoy them much more knowing that your family is safe. Take extra precautions to be sure you and your family are safe and you will have a blast on the 4th of July. Each year over 8,000 people are injured during fireworks accidents.
Many parents and caregivers overestimate the child’s ability to handle and understand the proper use of fireworks. Every year more than 3,000 children under the age of 14 are treated for firework related injuries in emergency rooms across the nation.
Of course we recommend going to the shows put on by the municipality or city. However, if you are planning on setting off your own please make sure you follow proper safety precautions as outlined above and everyone else does too. There is no room for error when it comes to handling and using fireworks.
If your child or someone else is injured by a firework be sure to seek medical attention. Some minor burns aren’t cause for concern and can be safely treated at home; other more serious burns will require medical attention
 If it is an eye injury, do not allow your child to rub or touch it, as this might cause more damage. This is serious, do not attempt to flush it with water or put ointment on it. Rather cut out the bottom of a paper cup and place it over the eye and immediately seek medical attention. Your child’s eyesight may depend on it.
For burns related to fireworks, remove clothing and run cool, not cold, water over it, also DO NOT use ice. There are of course different degrees of burns, and weather you seek medical attention will depend on the degree or severity of the burn.
First degree burns – these are the mildest and most easily treated burns. They are limited to just the top layer of skin. You can tell a first degree burn by redness in the area, pain or minor swelling. The skin is dry without blisters. These will heal in about 3-6 days; however, the superficial layer of skin over the burn may peel off in 1-2 days.
Treatment for a first degree burns  –
·         Remove child from the heat source
·         Remove clothing from the burned area immediately
·         Run cool (NOT COLD) water over the burned area, or hold a cool compress on it for approximately 3-5 minutes
·         DO NOT use ice; this can cause more destruction to the injured skin.
·         Do not apply butter, grease or powder or any other remedies to the burn this can increase the risk of infection.
·         You can apply aloe gel or a burn cream to the affected area a few times a day, to sooth it.
·         You can also give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
·         Keep it clean, you can protect it with a sterile gauze pad or bandage for the next 24-48 hours, after that you will want the air to hit it sometimes so it is has time to heel. Keeping it moist under a gauze pad or bandage longer than 48 hours isn’t good; it is a breeding ground for infection.
Second degree burns- these are more serious and involve the skin layers beneath the top layer. These types of burns produce blisters and bubbles, severe pain and redness. The blisters will sometimes break open and the area is wet looking, with a pink to cherry red color. Healing time varies because it depends on the severity of the burn. It can take anywhere from 3 weeks or more for a second degree burn to heal.
Treatment for second degree burns –
·         Run cool (NOT COLD) water over the burned area, or hold a cool compress on it for approximately 3-5 minutes
·         DO NOT use ice; this can cause more destruction to the injured skin.
·         Do not apply butter, grease or powder or any other remedies to the burn this can increase the risk of infection.
·         DO NOT break any blisters
·         Seek medical attention
·         Remove all jewelry and clothing from around the burn in case of any swelling, however, if it is stuck to the skin do not pull or tear it away.
Third degree burns- these are the most serious type of burns and involve all layers of the skin and underlying tissue. The surface can appear dry and can look waxy white, leathery brown, or charred. There may be little or no pain, or feel numb at first because the nerves have been damaged. Again healing depends on the severity of the burn, deep second and third degree burns (also called full thickness burns) may require skin grafts in order for it to heal.
Treatment for third degree burns-
·         Seek medical attention right away (this degree of burn requires medical attention and DO NOT wait)
·         Keep it elevated
·         Do not soak the burn at all
·         Do not peel away clothing stuck to the burn
·         Do not apply any ointments or grease to the burns
As always be safe this Fourth of July and by following these simple recommendations you will have a fun filled, sparkling Independence day!!!