The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says nearly 100 people across the state visited an emergency room with a fireworks-related injury in 2019; Twenty five percent of those injuries involved children.
Additionally, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission finds a 50 percent increase in injuries and deaths from fireworks-related incidents in 2020 compared to 2019.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals want to remind community members to always make safety a priority when using or watching fireworks.
“The majority of injuries from fireworks are burns that occur to the hands or fingers, legs, face and eyes,” says HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals Director of Emergency Services, Robin Schultz. “We recommend fireworks be left to experts specially trained and certified so you can have a safe and enjoyable holiday.”
If you do decide to use fireworks, HSHS hospitals strongly recommend you follow these safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Young children can suffer injuries from sparklers, which burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is 20 times the boiling point of water. As a safe alternative to sparklers, use glow sticks.
- Always read and follow label instructions.
- Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from houses, dry leaves and flammable materials.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a firework when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting a firework (only light one at a time) and wear eye protection.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them from metal or glass containers.
- Soak all spent fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can. Never discard fireworks, including used ones, in a fire pit.
- Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper. This is often a sign they were made for professional use only.