Happy 4th of July!

by Jennifer A. Gardner, M.D. on July 03, 2013

Fireworks Are Fun, But Best Viewed From a Distance.

Hurray July 4th is tomorrow!  I suspect that many of you are looking forward to barbecues, picnics, family parties, but most of all fireworks. I know I am. Fireworks are among my favorite things.

You may be tempted to put on your own display, but we strongly advise against it. Best to leave fireworks to the experts. Some can reach 2,000 °F—hot enough to melt certain metals. At these temperatures, even brief contact with your child’s skin, hair, or clothing can be catastrophic. If, despite our advice, you chose to set off fireworks, please keep the following in mind:

  • Fireworks are illegal in some areas. So don’t forget to check with your local police department before setting any off.
  • Different locales allow different types of fireworks. Use only those permitted in your area.
  • Fireworks are for outside use only.
  • Maintain a safe distance between your fireworks and anyone else, and never point them at a person or animal.
  • Keep hands and face away from the fireworks while lighting them.
  • Best to wear eye protection and natural clothing when lighting them—many synthetics burn easier than natural fibers.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your pockets.
  • Do not use them near any homes, dry brush, woodlands, or other materials that might catch fire.
  • Never set off fireworks from decks or balconies.
  • Stay away from anyone using fireworks in an unsafe manner.
  • Keep children away from all unlit fireworks and even duds, as these may still go off at any time.
  • Douse any duds with water before disposal.
  • Keep a running hose, cotton blanket, bucket of water or sand nearby when lighting.
  • Keep a well-stocked emergency kit in the vicinity.
  • Make sure that your emergency contact list is up to date.

In the Event of an Injury: Seek medical attention immediately! 

If your child’s eye has been injured, do not allow him or her to rub it.  This may make it worse. Also, do not wash it or apply ointment. Keep the eye closed. Cover it with a gauze or bandage. Tape this in place for transit to the hospital. (In a pinch, you can also cut the bottom of a paper cup to use as a cover for the eye.) Following these instructions is critical because your child’s vision is at risk!

Burn Management:

Whether a burn is the result of sun exposure, fireworks, cooking, or fire, they are all treated the same way based on size, location and severity. If your child has received a burn to his skin, remove any adjacent clothing and apply cold running water, not ice. For more details on treating burns, the Mayo Clinic has an easy to follow guide.

But please do not hesitate to go to the ER even after implementing these guidelines!

Whatever choice you make, we at Healthy Kids Company hope you have a wonderful 4th and see some amazing displays. Remember, professional displays are better than home displays and a lot safer! Although the pros sometimes make mistakes too, as you can see from this amazing Pinterest video, which shows an entire display going off at once, and the accompanying Twirlit article that tells all about it.

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