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Handle Fireworks With Care on the Fourth

Residents of Lehigh Valley and beyond love fireworks, especially on the Fourth of July, but Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LVHN’s) ExpressCARE providers warn they can be dangerous if not used safely.

Fact: About 10,500 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospitals in 2014, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Fact: Nearly 400 people lose sight in one or both eyes every year due to fireworks injuries, including children and innocent bystanders.

Fact: Nearly 70 percent of all injuries from fireworks are burn injuries, says the CPSC.

Fact: Adults between the ages of 25 and 44 are most often injured by fireworks (men most frequently).

If you do use fireworks at home, follow these safety tips:

  • Always have adult supervision and never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before using them.
  • Read and follow all manufacturers' warnings and instructions.
  • Shoot fireworks on a clean, flat surface away from the house or flammable materials.
  • Keep a source of water close by in case of fire or another mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never use bottle rockets and never throw fireworks at another person.

If a fireworks-related injury occurs: seek medical attention immediately. If the injury is to the eye, do not rub or rinse the eyes and do not apply pressure. If the injury is a burn, seek medical attention. Even sparklers can cause serious burns, reaching temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

ExpressCARE providers want you to receive the best possible care for the type of injury or illness you are experiencing. Learn more: Know whether to choose ExpressCARE or the emergency room.