Fireworks injury prevention is something we care deeply about. Fireworks vendors are on nearly every street corner in Michigan right now, and ever since legislation has changed to allow folks to buy the “big boy” style fireworks, people are celebrating in pyrotechnic style.
Dr. Weinert and his staff want you to enjoy this 4th of July, but would like to remind you of the dangers you should be aware of to ensure you stay safe and sound.
With fireworks on the market that explode in every direction, common sense goes a long way, but there are some fundamentals to stick to when buying and using them.
1.) Buy from a reputable dealer, and a known brand. These are explosives, and highly dangerous ones at that, and as such you’ll want to get the best, most standardized kind you can. That also means no homemade fireworks, which often fail and cause serious injury to everyone around.
2.) Light the wick, run away, and enjoy. The rough estimate “safe distance” for large aerial fireworks is around 100ft; small fountain style fireworks need several yards. When in doubt, move farther o
3.) Use a 10 foot safety fuse whenever possible, so as to allow yourself enough time to get away to safety.
4.) Never hold fireworks in your hand and never shoot fireworks at another person.
5.) Wear long pants and closed shoes when setting off fireworks- even sparklers- so as to avoid burns on your feet and ankles.
6.) Strictly supervise children, and watch out for eachother. Falling debris and sparks & embers are notorious for injuring bystanders.
Dr. Weinert specifically warns against sparklers due to their perception as “safe”; they are still a very real hazard, and account for a large number of injuries every year. Sparklers can burn up to 2000 degrees, hot enough to melt metal- keep that in mind when providing them to small children. Small children often become alarmed when the sparks get close to where they’re holding the stick, and if dropped on a bare or sandaled foot, the sparkler can do serious damage very quickly.
Fireworks cause a large number of burns every year in Michigan, and last year a Hazel Park paraplegic man’s leg was blown off by a dropped explosive. By following safety guidelines and being vigilant for potential hazards, you can have a safe and happy 4th of July.
If you experience a burn this 4th of July, contact our offices for an emergency appointment. Dr. Weinert is double board certified in wound management, and will make sure your burn heals properly. Visit our website to learn more or to request a free copy of his book Stop Feet Pain Fast.