One of the most ubiquitous fireworks is also one of the most dangerous, according to USA Today. Accounting for up to one-quarter of the 12,000 fireworks-related emergency room visits every year, sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt some metals or set clothing on fire. Take extreme caution when giving them to children — especially kids under 10. Keep a bucket of water nearby to cool the spent sticks, which can remain hot enough to cause second-degree burns long after you stop spelling your name in light. Also consider safer alternatives such as glow sticks or bamboo sparklers, which cool down fast.
With Independence Day coming up, the National Safety Council (NSC) warns that although many fireworks are legal, they aren’t necessarily safe. More than 12,000 people were injured in fireworks-related incidents in 2017, and two-thirds (67%) of the injuries took place in the weeks surrounding July 4. If you choose to set off fireworks this month, follow precautions such as wearing protective eyewear; staying clear of people, houses and flammable materials; keeping a bucket of water nearby for spent fireworks; and only allowing older children to use them under strict adult supervision. “Better yet, grab a blanket and a patch of lawn, kick back and let the experts handle the fireworks show,” NSC says.
Some 40 per cent of the injuries caused by fireworks each year arise from the improper handling of firecrackers and sparklers, according to the National Council on Fireworks Safety (CPSC) so it isn’t only big and/or illegal fireworks that can cause harm. Never allow young children to ignite fireworks, the council says. Light fireworks on the ground and get to a safe distance before they ignite. Never ignite fireworks in metal or glass containers. And douse spent fireworks with water before throwing them in the trash.