How to prevent fireworks injuries during your 4th of July celebrations

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Emergency departments are bracing for what could be another busy Fourth of July weekend for fireworks-related injuries.

A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision found a 50 percent increase in deaths and injuries from fireworks-related incidents in 2020 compared to 2019.

According to the CPSC report, about 15,600 people were treated in hospital emergency departments for fireworks injuries in 2020, up from about 10,000 in 2019.

Dr. Sue Kirelik, a Pediatric Emergency Physician with Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, said most often see injuries caused by sparklers.

“They’re so common, and for some reason, people don’t see them as something dangerous. There’s a long history of giving them to little children to kind of flit around and watch the pattern. They’re really, really hot, so we do see young children getting burned with those,” Kirelik said.

Not all fireworks-related injuries need to be treated in a hospital setting. Kirelik said there are some signs that you need to seek emergency care:

  • A burn that goes through the skin
  • Blistering on the skin
  • A burn over a joint
  • A burn larger than the palm of your hand
  • Burns that appear waxy, rubbery or white
  • Explosive injuries that damage eyes or digits

“I don’t know what we’re going to see this year, but given that we’re coming out of a pandemic, everybody is really excited to gather and have fun, there’s a really good chance we’re going to see more fireworks injuries this year than previous years,” Kirelik said.

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