Independence Day is a day for picnics, cookouts and fun times with family and friends. The highlight of the holiday for many comes when the sun sets and the fireworks start. Though spectators enjoy the visual display of light explosions in the sky, safety must be prioritized or serious injury can occur.
At least eight people lost their lives in firework mishaps in 2017 while another 12,900 ended up in hospital emergency rooms with injuries. Below are the different types of injuries one may sustain while using or viewing fireworks and what to do in case of an accident:
1. Hand Burns
A burned hand or finger is the most common injury from fireworks. A minor burn causes redness and pain. More serious burns cause blisters. The most serious burns cause white leathery skin and damage under the skin. It is very important to never pick up a firework that has not gone off. If you do light fireworks, make sure you have water nearby.
2. Eye Injuries
When fireworks are lit, dangerous particles fly through the air and in an unfortunate scenario, can pierce an eyeball. Minor burns to the eye may occur as well as complete loss of vision. Whether you are the one lighting the firework or are standing nearby, it is smart to wear some type of eye protection or stand at least 500 feet away.
3. Lacerations and Broken Bones
Besides burns, fireworks can cause other injuries such as deep cuts, torn tendons, and broken bones. Not only are you sending a fire into the sky, but you are sending it with great speed and force. Make sure to wear gloves and long sleeves and pants to protect your skin from cuts.
4. Facial Injuries
It’s been established by now that fireworks can burn or cut your skin and eyes. The rest of your face is no different. Severe injuries to the face can include broken bones and loss of facial tissue. Never bend with your head over the firework as you light the fuse. Better yet, don’t use any type of powerful firework in order to lessen your chance of injury to your face.
Unfortunately, not all firework injuries end with just a scar or a burn mark. Many severe hand injuries from fireworks cause loss of a finger or thumb. If this does occur, make sure to clean the area, apply pressure to stop the bleeding and keep it raised until paramedics arrive at the scene.
It is important not to use powerful fireworks intended for professional fireworks displays. You should only use fireworks manufactured for consumer use and even then, handle them with extreme caution to prevent injury
If an injury does occur it is important to be prepared with a first-aid kit. All of the above firework-related injuries can be treated with LifeSecure’s various MobileAid, Bleed Stop first aid kits. Whether it’s a minor injury such as a burn on your finger or something as severe as a laceration that won’t stop bleeding or loss of a finger all together, one should always be prepared with first aid items to help relieve the problem until medical professionals arrive at the scene.