HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospitals in Breese and Highland want to remind community members that while fireworks can be fun, they can also be dangerous. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, there were more than 10,000 fireworks-related injuries in America in 2022.
According to emergency medical experts at both Holy Family and St. Joseph’s hospitals, most injuries from fireworks occur to the hands or fingers, legs, face and eyes. Fireworks should be left to experts trained and certified so everyone can have a safe and enjoyable holiday.
Some safe firework and sparkler alternatives are party poppers, bubbles, silly string or glowsticks. These options provide fun, but with less risk of harm for all involved.
If you do decide to use fireworks, here are 10 tips from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before purchasing.
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks and watch them closely while playing with sparklers.
- Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case of fire or other mishap.
- Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Don’t forget about your pets. Fireworks can cause extreme stress to animals. Keep your pets indoors.
- Never place a part of your body directly over a firework or hold a firework in your hand while lighting. Light fireworks one at a time and move back to a safe distance quickly.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Soak all spent and unused fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing away in a trash can. Never discard fireworks in a fire pit.
- Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from houses, dry leaves and flammable materials.
- Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper. This is often a sign they were made for professional use only.
If you or someone you know is injured by a firework and in need of emergency care, call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room immediately. The emergency departments at HSHS Holy Family Hospital and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospitals in Breese and Highland are well-prepared to deliver high-quality emergency medical care 24/7.