Doctors, fire officials warn over use of fireworks

Fireworks especially dangerous for children

SAN ANTONIO – The 4th of July holiday is Friday and many families are planning on celebrating with fireworks.

However, San Antonio fire officials and local doctors are reminding people that fireworks can be dangerous, especially for children.

"Where we see the most injuries are the palms and also in the eyes," said Dr. Lillian Liao, University Hospital Trauma Surgeon. "Children, most significantly in their palms, because they tend to grab sparkly, shiny things and so when you are lighting fireworks around them, it's really important to be careful, if you do it at all."

Liao said they see a lot of these injuries around the 4th of July and that it is even more common in children and toddlers, who may not be aware of what they're holding onto.

"I think one of the biggest things that  parents don't know is that the sparklers, the hand-held fireworks for kids, actually heat up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hotter than a temperature that we would use to cook food and grill a hot dog," said Liao.

The San Antonio Fire Department demonstrated the dangers of fireworks Wednesday, letting people know how harmful they can be, especially fireworks used by children.

"The misconception is that you hand your kid a sparkler and it's OK," said Carl Wedige, San Antonio Fire Marshal. "If that comes in contact with the skin, you are talking about serious burns that can occur."

Liao said they do not recommend children younger than 12-years-old handling sparklers.

Fire officials are reminding residents that the purchase and use of firework within the city limits of San Antonio is illegal.

People can call the Fireworks Hotline at 210-207-0202 to report the use of fireworks within the city limits between the hours of 7-11 p.m.

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