Keeping safe on Independence Day: Plus: Where to see the best fireworks showsindependence day
As families take to the outdoors to celebrate the Fourth of July, emergency room personnel and firework safety officials are urging them to use caution.
Community Hospital emergency room charge nurse Aaron Wilson said hospitals most commonly see burns and
heat exhaustion over the Fourth of July weekend.
Although burns aren't unexpected on the Fourth of July, they are few.
Wilson said the hospital sees a handful of fireworks-related burn injuries each year.
Nationwide, about 10,000 fireworks injuries are reported each year, he said.
Many injuries come from an unlikely source.
According to Nancy Blogin, President of the National Council on Fireworks Safety, sparklers are a common threat to children.
About 16 percent of all consumer fireworks burns are caused by sparklers.
Those under 15 are most susceptible to getting burned during the Fourth of July, Wilson said.
"We want adults to [handle] the fireworks but if children are using them, we need adult supervision," Wilson said.
Fireworks aren't the only risky behavior associated with the Fourth.
As common as fireworks to the Independence Day celebration are parades.
Those attending parades or family picnics are at risk for heat exhaustion, Wilson said.
Other than keeping hydrated and wearing loose fitting clothes to avoid heat exhaustion, Wilson said people should be aware of the signs that heat exhaustion is setting in.
They include muscle cramps, headache, pain, dizziness and sometimes nausea.
An increase in travel and alcohol consumption also leads to increased emergency room visits over the holiday weekend.
Wear a seat belt, Wilson said, and get a designated driver.
In terms of keeping your children safe from fireworks, Wilson said the best way to keep safe is to avoid using fireworks altogether.
"Maybe not even to use fireworks and maybe just use a fireworks show done professionally."
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