Did you know that there over 200 ER visits a day during the month surrounding the 4th of July holiday due to fireworks related injuries?
While fireworks are fun to watch, they can be dangerous, causing severe burns, and most commonly, hand, finger and eye injuries.
Here are a few firework safety tips to make sure you don't have to visit me or my colleagues
in the ER:
1. Do not allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, even if adults are around. Sparklers burn at temps of greater than 1000 degrees, which when paired with tiny hands can equal major burns!! I've seen this firsthand too many times before!! Watch your kids and even watch other folk’s kids!!!
2. Refrain from performing "stunts" that you may have seen on Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube, etc that include fireworks. Most are dangerous and just plain stupid.
3. ALWAYS have SOBER adult supervision!!! (This does not include teenagers....sorry, I know y'all think some of them are grown but believe me, they aren't---see #2). Make sure to light fireworks one at a time.
4. Ladies, weaves/wigs/extensions, hair spray, etc. are flammable (and expensive)......need I say more?
5. NEVER place any part of your body directly over fireworks when lighting the fuse and make sure to back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
6. DO NOT try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. This may mean the fireworks were faulty and could explode or cause serious injuries.
7. NEVER point or throw fireworks at another person. That's just plain stupid, too. (See #2)
8. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose near in case of fire.
9. Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
10. Make sure to douse used fireworks with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before throwing away to prevent a trash fire.
11. Make sure you aren't breaking any laws by lighting fireworks in your area. Check to see if it's legal.
12. Be safe, stay alert, use common sense and have fun!!
Dorsha James, MD, is a 15-year veteran emergency medicine physician in the Nashville, TN area. She now serves as the CEO and chief medical officer for her company myURGENCYMD. myURGENCYMD is a national telemedicine company that provides members with access to 24-hour, seven-day-a-week virtual consultations with a board-certified physician to discuss non-emergency conditions. She enjoys empowering patients by helping them understand how to properly utilize the many avenues for the treatment of medical conditions to obtain optimal health. To learn more about the company, visit www.myurgencymd.com