Tips on how to protect children from firework injuries

Leave fireworks to the pros -- best way to protect family is to not use them at home

Storyblocks: Fireworks display (jomar aplaon)

SAN ANTONIO – Are you going to set off any fireworks for the Fourth of July this Sunday?

As it may be thrilling to light off fireworks from home, KSAT Community partner, University Health has some helpful tips to keep in mind when celebrating our U.S. Independence Day.

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How can I protect children from firework injuries?

Attend public firework displays. Leave the show to the pros!  Grab a blanket and patch of lawn, kick back and let the experts handle the fireworks show.

Never allow young children to handle fireworks. Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear. Never allow adults to use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Give children something besides sparklers. Sparklers can heat up to more than 1,200 degrees and are dangerous for young children. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers account for ¼ of emergency room visits for firework-related injuries.

Fun alternatives to sparklers:

  • Glow sticks
  • Confetti poppers
  • Colored streamers
  • Red, white and blue silly string

Make sure children are a safe distance away from lit fireworks. Keep children from picking up spent fireworks – some may still be active. If possible, keep children behind a protective barrier.

What can I do to protect myself and my family when setting off fireworks?

If you choose to light up this week here are some important safety tips to remember:

  • A responsible adult should supervise children at all times
  • Never mix alcohol and fireworks. Save that drink for later.
  • Never relight a firework that doesn’t go off
  • Always have a bucket of water and water hose nearby
  • Use fireworks in an outdoor area away from buildings

Children can be especially vulnerable to firework-related injuries since most parents do not consider the safety risks associated with seemingly harmless fireworks, like sparklers.

“Sparklers, which are often considered safe for small children, can burn up to temperatures of 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the same heat as from a blow torch,” said Dr. Lilian Liao, pediatric trauma and burn director at University Hospital. “They can not only cause serious injuries to kids, but can also be a fire hazard. "

“Fireworks are best done by professionals. However, if you choose to light your own, do not try to relight ones that do not go off or look directly into any firework,” Dr. Liao said.

If someone does suffer a firework-related injury or burn it’s important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

University Health System’s Pediatric Trauma and Burn Center is part of the only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in South Texas and has proven expertise in taking care of seriously injured children. To learn more, call 210-358-4000.

KSAT Community operates in partnership with University Health, Energy Transfer and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.

About the Author

Kiersten has been a Digital Content Creator with KSAT12 since 2017. She graduated from Texas State University with an electronic media degree and previously worked for the Spurs Sports & Entertainment.

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