Fireworks Spark Safety Concerns For Area Doctors
Sunday, June 26, 2011 8:08 am
Fireworks stands such as this one located at Parsley’s Market are big hits this time of year. Citizens are encouraged to use caution and follow all safety precautions, while also being respectful of others, during the upcoming Fourth of July Weekend. Cannon County will enjoy “Cannon County Communities 4th of July Celebration” Friday (July 1). Festivities at Dillon Park begin at 5 p.m., with free games, food and live entertainment. The Lions Club Horse Show takes place Saturday (July 2).
Two-thirds of the estimated 7,000 fireworks injuries that occur each year in the United States will happen in the summer months, and according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), half of those injuries will be to children under the age of 20.
Fireworks are an exciting part of summer festivities, but Middle Tennessee Medical Center urges everyone to be smart before, during and after personal fireworks use.
“Before lighting any fireworks, there are some precautionary steps that will help prevent injuries and fires from occurring,” said Dr. Alison Puckett, a family medicine physician with Middle Tennessee Medical Group.
As with most things in life, location and timing are key. Choose an open area away from spectators, homes and abundant vegetation. Use a garden hose to wet down the area before launching any fireworks and keep the hose close at hand just in case a fire should occur.
Fireworks can stay hot long after they’re burnt out. Soaking them after they’ve extinguished speeds the cooling process and prevents accidental burns.
Place all of the used items in a sealed, fire-proof container away from homes and buildings.
According to the CDC, the body parts most often injured are fingers and hands, eyes and legs.
Burns are the most common injury to all body parts except the eyes, which are more susceptible to foreign bodies, and the head, where bruises and cuts often occur.
“The devastating fact is that often, we’re talking about permanent, disfiguring injuries such as the loss of a finger or limb,” Puckett said. “It only takes a split second for a healthy child or adult to suffer a lifelong disability because of a firework.”
Many think of sparklers as a safe type of firework, when in fact sparklers burn at up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and may burn a child or ignite clothing.
“While sparklers and other fireworks are fun, they only stay that way when everyone involved remains safe,” Puckett said.
For more tips on firework safety go to, fireworksafety.com.