The Fourth of July is a day filled with fun, excitement and celebration. Across the nation, families and friends gather to celebrate our nation’s independence. Follow these tips to ensure maximum fun and prevent injuries.
Firework safety tips
Each year in the U.S., thousands of adults and children are treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries.
At Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, we care for more pediatric emergency and trauma patients than any other health care system in our region, seeing about 90,000 kids each year between our St. Paul and Minneapolis hospitals. Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis is the area’s only Level I pediatric trauma center in a hospital dedicated to only kids, which means we offer the highest level of care to critically injured kids. From the seriously sick to the critically injured, we’re ready for anything.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks and avoid a visit to the emergency room is to attend a public fireworks display. However, if you choose to light them yourself, here are a few ways to enjoy the fun while keeping you and your children safe:
- Keep fireworks of any kind away from children, even after they have gone off. Parts of the firework can still be hot or even explosive after fireworks have been lit.
- Older teens should only use fireworks under close adult supervision.
- Keep fireworks far away from dense areas where there are a lot of buildings and/or people.
- Do not light fireworks around flammable items such as dead leaves, gas-powered equipment or fabrics, and be sure they’re pointed away from people, animals and buildings.
- Always have a fire extinguisher, water bucket and/or hose readily available in case of an accidental fire.
- After you have enjoyed your fireworks, be sure to pick up any debris or pieces of the firework that may be left in the area. These small pieces may pose as a choking hazard for young children.
The Fourth of July weekend also is a great time for travel and spending time in the water. Please view these articles for tips on water safety and traveling:
- Splish splash: The ins and outs of water safety
- 12 tips to help keep kids safe this summer
- Safe Kids Worldwide
Luul Mohamed and Alicia Youssef are members of Children’s injury prevention program team.