(MADISON) – The 4th of July and fireworks just go together. With the holiday approaching, this is a great time to remember the dangers of fireworks which can cause serious injuries and death if not properly used.
-In 2013 (latest available statistics), U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries.
-55% of emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head.
-The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 0-4, followed by children 10-14.
-On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
“We all like to celebrate the 4th of July, but mishandling fireworks could cause a tragic end to the festivities,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Brian Satula. “Make sure you purchase only legal fireworks, follow the manufacturer’s directions on storing and lighting fireworks and NEVER have a child light them.”
Here are more tips to protect yourself and your family:
-Adults igniting the fireworks should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
-Only buy fireworks from reliable sellers.
-Use fireworks only outdoors.
-Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
-Always have water handy (a garden hose or a bucket).
-Light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry leaves and flammable materials.
-Light only one firework at a time.
-Never throw or point fireworks at other people or animals.
-Keep your pets indoors to reduce the risk that they will run loose and get injured. Many animals have very sensitive ears and can
be stressed or frightened by fireworks.
-Sparklers are the #1 cause of burns around the 4th of July. Consider alternatives such as “glow sticks”.
Also remember to play it safe when traveling over the holiday:
-Make sure you drink plenty of water and limit your alcohol and caffeine intake.
-When traveling to and from a holiday destination, never leave people or pets inside a parked car. Even with the windows cracked open, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes
-Make sure your car is in shape to make the trip. Having a first-aid kit, bottled water and some energy bars is a good idea in case you get stranded. A car adaptor for your cell phone is also a good idea in case you need to call for help.
-We want everyone to come home safely. If you’re feeling tired, drank alcohol, or feel ill, either let someone else drive or postpone the trip.
-Check 511wi.gov or call 511 for the latest traffic and road information on your route.