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Fireworks Safety: How to Keep It Fun and Avoid Injury

Independence Day can be a fun family event—an exciting time to celebrate and enjoy the summer with family and friends. And fireworks may be part of the celebration. Every year however, children and adults suffer injuries from fireworks, especially eye injuries and burns.

If you choose to use fireworks at your next event, follow these safety tips:

Special Note About Sparklers

Sparklers are also very popular during fireworks celebrations. Unfortunately, these small hand-held fireworks also causes injuries, especially in young children. The National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends that only older children over the age 12 years be allowed to use sparklers. The organization also recommends these tips:

  • Wear closed-toe shoes to prevent burns on your feet.
  • Light only one sparkler at a time.
  • Stand when using a sparkler. Never run with a sparkler in your hand.
  • Never wave a sparkler or throw one.
  • Keep the sparkler at arm's length. Stand far away from people.
  • Never hold a child in your arms if you are also holding a sparkler.
  • Once lit, the sparkler becomes very hot. After it has burned out, put the sparkler in a bucket of water.
RESOURCES:

National Council on Fireworks Safety
http://fireworkssafety.org

United States Consumer Products Safety Commission
https://www.cpsc.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canada Safety Council
http://canadasafetycouncil.org

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:

Fireworks safety. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/fireworks.html. Updated July 2013. Accessed June 8, 2017.

Fireworks publication #12. United States Consumer Product and Safety Commission website. Available at: http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/121339/012.pdf. Updated June 2015. Accessed June 8, 2017.

Recommended safety tips. The National Council on Fireworks Safety website. http://www.fireworkssafety.org/safety-tips. Accessed June 8, 2017.

Sparker safety. New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website. Available at: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/ofpc/publications/documents/sparklersafety.pdf. Accessed June 8, 2017.

Last reviewed June 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP  Last Updated: 6/8/2017