June 2011 Health Beat

Karen’s Kolumn is written by Karen Dolley, R.N. and Grange Friend… we appreciate her knowledge and her willingness to share!

The National Council on Fireworks Safety has proclaimed the month of June as National Fireworks Safety Month to alert parents and children to the dangers of playing with fireworks.

A report from the United Sates Consumer Safety Commission states there are about two hundred fireworks injuries per day during the weeks surrounding the fourth of July holiday. On July fourth, there are more reported fires in the United States than on any other day. In 2008, seven thousand people were injured by fireworks. More than half the people injured were children. Seven people died in 2008 as a result of their injuries. An estimated 22, 500 reported fires were started by fireworks in 2008.

Many types of fireworks are accessible to the general public and are often sold along the borders of two states where laws prohibiting sales on either side may differ.

The person or persons participating in the fireworks related activities were more likely to be injured than bystanders. Body parts most often injured include hands and fingers, eyes, and legs. More than half the injuries were burns but bruises, cuts, and foreign bodies lodged in the eyes also occurred. Fireworks can cause blindness! Fireworks can cause life threatening home and motor vehicle fires. Bottle rockets can fly into a persons face and cause eye injuries. Sparklers burn in excess of 1000 degrees F. and can ignite clothing. Firecrackers can injure the hands and face if they explode at close range.

Always remember that younger children lack the physical coordination to handle fireworks safely.

The best advice is to attend a public fireworks display and leave fireworks to trained professionals. Do not buy, use, or store fireworks of any kind.

Prevent Blindness America supports the development and enforcement of bans on the importation, sale, and use of all fireworks and sparklers except those used in professional displays.

For more information visit www.cdc.gov and www.preventblindness.org.

Have a fun and safe fourth of July holiday this summer.