Make the Fourth a Safe

Updated: Friday, 26 Jun 2009, 11:15 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 26 Jun 2009, 11:15 PM EDT

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - Independence Day: picnics, fireworks, trips to the emergency room? We all have heard stories of people injured by fireworks. In fact, in 2007 alone, more than 21,000 fireworks-related injuries were treated by physicians in the U.S.; over half of those injured were under 17 years of age.

Fireworks can misfire, explode prematurely, or cause trauma if you are in the “wrong place at the wrong time.”

The best solution is to stand far away, enjoy the display, and let the professionals do the dirty work. If, however, you are a trained adult and choose to use fireworks, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has issued the following guidelines to help keep you safe:

Check with your local police department to determine what types of fireworks—if any—are legal to discharge in your area.

Do not buy illegal fireworks; their quality is not assured.

Do not allow children to light fireworks.

Do not hold or light fireworks in your hand.

Do not allow children to go near, play with, or hold fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers can reach temperatures of over 1,000 degrees and can burn the hands!

Do not use fireworks if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Happy and safe 4th of July to all!