DAYTON, Ohio - Injuries from fireworks jumped dramatically last year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. There were eight deaths and more than 11,000 people hurt – that’s up more than 30 percent from 2012. Typically about 40 percent of those injured are under the age of 15.
Dayton Children’s Hospital wants to make sure families celebrate safely. Some small fireworks are legal in Ohio but that still doesn’t mean they are meant for children. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees – that’s hot enough to melt gold.
“Don’t ever let kids play with fireworks, period,” said Lisa Schwing, RN, trauma program manager at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “They’re intended for use by adults in open spaces and children should watch from a safe distance with plenty of adult supervision to make sure they don’t get too close.”
“The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them at a community event where professionals handle them,” said Schwing. However if adults choose to use fireworks, here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Follow fireworks instructions and light only on smooth, flat surfaces, aiming away from spectators, buildings, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
- Do not try to relight fireworks that malfunction.
- Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or hold them close to your face.
- Visit www.recalls.gov to make sure the pyrotechnic devices you are using are not subject to any safety recalls.
- Do not modify fireworks or use homemade fireworks.
- Keep a phone and fire extinguisher handy, and know first aid for burns.
“Teach your children how to call 911 in an emergency. Also teach them what to do if their clothing catches on fire - ‘stop, drop and roll,’” adds Schwing.
About Dayton Children’s: One of only 45 independent freestanding children’s hospitals in the country, Dayton Children’s is the region’s only medical facility dedicated to children. Accredited by The Joint Commission and serving 20 Ohio counties and eastern Indiana, the experts at Dayton Children’s care for more than 290,000 children each year. Consistently recognized as one of the country’s best and most cost-effective pediatric hospitals, Dayton Children’s is home to the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics and together with the United States Air Force shares the nation’s only civilian-military integrated pediatric training program. For more children’s health and safety information, visit our web site at www.childrensdayton.org.