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4 Ways to Avoid Common Fireworks Injuries

USA Independence Day
Independence Day is one of the most celebrated, yet potentially dangerous holidays of the year. Around the 4th of July, over 9,000 people each year become victims of fireworks injuries — nearly half occurring to young adults under the age of 20.

Enjoy your Independence Day, keeping the following in mind:

Types of Injuries:
Nearly half of all fireworks injuries involve the hands and fingers, for obvious reasons: burns, fractures (ouch) and sprains. Less frequent but significant injuries involve the head, torso, legs, and eyes (double ouch). Males are twice as likely as females to get injured, and misuse is a common reason for these preventable traumas.

Dangerous Fireworks:
The types of fireworks associated with bodily injuries include firecrackers (23%), bottle rockets (12%), sparklers (12%), reloadable shells (9%), Roman candles (4%) and fountains (2%). Nearly one in five injuries is caused by illegal fireworks.

Safety Tips to Remember:

  • Avoid handling or “playing with” any burn
  • Avoid self-treating burns with lotions, ointments, and creams (they’ll just have to get scraped off later)
  • Do not try to break blisters or glue them shut
  • Seek medical attention for any significant injury – remember, these are small explosives!
  • Choose safe alternatives to fireworks like: glow sticks, bubbles and confetti
  • Professional Help:
    Make sure you call 911 to get emergency assistance for serious burns. Any significant injury should be evaluated by a medical professional, even if it seems minor — in the meantime, begin cooling a burn as soon as possible with clean running water, then dry the wound with a clean towel and get seen, the same day or next.

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    Peter L Kim, MD

    Dr. Kim,  is the Medical Director of Family Care Centers, Former Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Hoag Hospital, and a recipient of the Physicians of Excellence award from the Orange County Medical Association. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine, and has been practicing in our community for over 20 years. He is an excellent, caring, and well­qualified physician who is dedicated to providing you with superior health care. A native of Los Angeles, he graduated from UCLA and received his medical training at the LAC­USC Medical Center. After completing his residency in Family Medicine, he accepted a sports medicine fellowship at San Jose Medical Center, an affiliate of Stanford University. He enjoys working with patients and families who are training or want to get back into an active lifestyle.

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