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With injuries on the rise, fireworks safety is a big priority this 4th of July

07-03-2019

Did you know the most common firework-related injuries are on the hands? Orthopedic hand surgeon Dr. Ying Chi spoke to Living 101 to provide tips on avoiding firework-related injuries and stay out of the emergency room this Fourth of July.

Fresh data is out showing that fireworks injuries have skyrocketed in recent years.

Analysts aren’t sure why the numbers are so high, but they want to make sure fireworks users know what it takes to stay safe and injury-free this July 4th.

The data backs that sentiment up. According to an annual report issued June 20, 2019, by the San Francisco-based Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks-related eye injuries have nearly doubled, from 700 in 2016 to 1,200 in 2017.

The CPSC notes that approximately half of all firework-related injuries are skin burns, with hands and fingers being the most injured followed by injuries to the eyes, head, face, and ears. Additionally, “most injuries are caused by legal fireworks that parents buy for their children, such as sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles,” the CPSC reports.

The fireworks injury figures are high enough these days to grab the full attention of medical professionals.

“The Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that an average of 280 people a day will go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries during the two weeks before and after July 4th,” says Dianna L. Seldomridge, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Don’t be a part of these alarming statistics. Learn how to protect yourself and your children.”

Michael Spencer, an airplane pilot from Bowling Green, Kentucky, certainly wishes he was more careful handling fireworks.

Back in 2015, while on vacation in 2015, Spencer was badly injured by a shell-and-mortar style fireworks device and lost several fingers on both hands, undergoing more than 11 surgeries, according to the CPSC report.

“Fireworks can be extremely dangerous, even if they are legal,” said Spencer. “My advice would be to leave them to the professionals.”

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