Surgeons group emphasizes fireworks safety

Rosemont, IL – As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is reminding consumers about the dangers of using fireworks.

In 2013, more than 26,500 people sustained fireworks-related injuries, and more than 10,500 needed to visit an emergency department, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The most common injuries were to hands and fingers (41 percent); head, face and ears (19 percent); trunk (15 percent); and legs (13 percent). About 600 injuries were related to sparklers and about 400 injuries were related to bottle rockets.

Safety tips offered by AAOS include:

  • Check with your local police department to determine which types (if any) of fireworks are legal.
  • Never buy or use illegal fireworks.
  • Only adults should light fireworks.
  • Have water nearby in case of a fire.
  • Wear safety eyewear when using fireworks.
  • Never try to relight fireworks.
  • Keep young children away from fireworks, including sparklers, which can reach temperatures of more than 1,000-degrees F
  • Never handle fireworks if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.