The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in the year 2011 about 9,600 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks. More than half of the injuries were burns, and most of the injuries involved the hands, eyes, and head. About 26% of the victims were under 15 years of age.
To help consumers use fireworks more safely, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these recommendations:
- Do not allow young children to play with fireworks under any circumstances. Sparklers, considered by many the ideal “safe” firework for the young, burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing. Children cannot understand the danger involved and cannot act appropriately in case of emergency.
- Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close adult supervision. Do not allow any running or horseplay.
- Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass and flammable materials.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that don’t go off.
- Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
- Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
- Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.