July is Fireworks Safety Month! Here are 9 fireworks safety tips
As the Fourth of July and summer celebrations approach, authorities are warning residents of the potential dangers associated with fireworks use.
In some states, including parts of the tri-state area, it is illegal for non-professional, non-licensed individuals to purchase, use, possess or sell fireworks.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 9,100 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in 2018.
Here are some fireworks safety tips:
1. Only attend displays put on by a licensed professional to ensure safety.
2. Watch fireworks displays from a safe distance.
3. Call 911 if anyone gets injured by fireworks.
4. Set a positive example for children by not using illegal fireworks. If kids see adults using them, they may not realize the dangers and could be encouraged to pick up matches or lighters. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Supervise children closely as sparklers seem like harmless fun for the kids, but they are responsible for about 1,400 eye injuries each year. Even tiny poppers or snappers can pose dangers.
5. Be careful around even the smallest fireworks. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees and could easily cause severe burns and injuries. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the misuse of fireworks can cause death and injuries including severe burns, contusions, lacerations, eye injuries and more.
6. Protect your hearing by wearing earplugs or earmuffs if setting off firecrackers at home. If a firecracker explodes near your ear, you could experience immediate hearing damage. To protect your hearing, be sure to enjoy the show from a safe distance. Here are more tips to protect your hearing from the CDC.
7. Wear protective eyewear. Ophthalmologists recommend American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved protective eyewear.
8. If you suffer an eye injury from a firework, seek medical attention immediately. Do not rub, rinse or apply pressure to your eyes. And do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.
Dr. Michael Farbowitz, president of NJ Academy of Ophthalmology, had some tips about protecting your eyes. See the video above.
9. Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper, which often means they were made for professional displays and could be dangerous for consumers, according to the CDC.