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Shriners Hospitals for Children Offers Firework Safety Tips for Parents

As one of the pioneering and leading pediatric healthcare systems for burn care in the nation, Shriners Hospitals for Children is offering tips for practicing fire safety this week in advance of the Fourth of July holiday. Since the 1960s, Shriners Hospitals for Children has been a leader in burn care, research and education — and burn injury prevention is a key component in these efforts.

More than 3,000 children under the age of 15 are sent to the emergency room each year in the United States because of fireworks, and the majority of these burn injuries occur on or around the Fourth of July. Children younger than 15 account for one out of every four firework-related injuries. Sparklers burn at around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns and melt glass. Third-degree burns can cause blindness and permanent scarring, and the most frequent firework-related burn injuries are to hands, the head/neck area and eyes.

Preventing burn injuries in children is an important Shriners Hospitals for Children initiative. Here is what families can do protect children from firework-related burn injuries this year:

Fourth of July Safety Tips 

  • Never allow children to light fireworks
  • Adult supervision of a designated firework area is key; do not let children near or around fireworks
  • Never let children handle sparklers – use glow sticks instead
  • Never try to relight fireworks that are not functional
  • Adults should dispose of all fireworks in a bucket of water
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and/or a hose nearby in case of a fire
  • Educate your children about the dangers of fireworks
  • Keep flammable liquids (gasoline) away from designated firework areas
  • Never wear loose clothing while lighting fireworks
  • The best and safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display run by trained professionals

Remember, children are always at risk around residential fireworks, even if they are not the ones handling them. The best way to protect children is to not use fireworks at home. Public firework shows operated and produced by trained professionals are safest.

Instead of fireworks, consider these fun activities with children to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.

“It is really important to follow these safety tips relating to the Fourth of July so that we all can have a safe and healthy holiday,” said Frances A. Farley, M.D., chief medical officer of Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Parents should seek immediate medical attention if a child is injured by fireworks. Call 911 or immediately go to the emergency room. Shriners Hospitals for Children provides world-renowned burn care to children, regardless of the families’ ability to pay or insurance status. Shriners Hospitals locations that provide various levels of burn care include Pasadena, California; Northern California (Sacramento, California); Texas (Galveston, Texas); Dayton, Ohio; and Boston, Massachusetts.

father and son roasting marshmallows over campfire