Most people enjoy celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with a fireworks show or two. With Independence Day right around the corner, it is important to understand that if these devices are not used properly you could wind up with some pretty devastating injuries. Catastrophic burn injuries and fatalities arise every year in Florida and across the United States due to Fourth of July fireworks injuries.
While you may think that firework accidents are not that common, firework-related injuries are actually quite a common occurrence. At Whittel & Melton, our Florida Personal Injury Attorneys know that children are at the highest risk for injuries stemming from fireworks accidents. That is why we strongly recommend that parents protect their children from injury by keeping them from using fireworks.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, an estimated 5,000 children under the age of 15 are treated in an emergency room each year due to a firework-related injury. Of these injuries, a whopping 70 percent occur during the month surrounding the Fourth of July holiday.
So, how can you and your family enjoy fireworks safely this year? Your safest option is to attend a publicly sanctioned firework event. However, if you are set on hosting your own red, white and blue party, you must be prepared and be as safe as possible in order to prevent any tragedies from happening in your backyard. The following tips and reminders can help you avoid an accident:
• Never let children play with fireworks or light them.
• Before using any fireworks, read any instructions and familiarize yourself with the warnings on the label.
• Drinking and lighting off fireworks is never a good idea. If you choose to light your own, make sure you designate a sober shooter.
• Ignite one firework at a time.
• Make sure you set up your post somewhere safely away from tree branches or bushes that could catch on fire.
• Do not try and re-light, alter or fix any fireworks that malfunction.
• Remember, all fireworks should be used outdoors only.
• Sparklers should never be handled by children, as they can reach temperatures easily hot enough to inflict third-degree burn injuries. Try letting your youngsters use glow sticks instead. These can be just as fun for the kids and much safer.
• Before lighting a firework, make sure the area is clear. It is best to light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface that is a safe distance away from the house, any dry leaves or other highly flammable materials.
Remember that the top injuries associated with fireworks are burns, eye injuries, bruises, cuts and scratches. You can help to reduce your family’s risk for these kinds of accidental injuries by attending a safe fireworks show this Fourth of July.
If you or a loved one becomes injured, contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney at Whittel & Melton to learn about your rights. We are available 24/7, so give us a call at 866-608-5529 for a free consultation or contact us online.