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Fireworks: Tiny little bombs we hold in our hands

 

The season is quickly approaching. The American spirit in pyrotechnic form will soon fill the sky and our backyards. It’s is all in good fun, but lets’ not forget to be mindful when dealing with explosives, even if they are tiny little firecrackers or sparklers. They can still pack a punch and do serious damage when not properly handled.

 

We get so many finger, hand and arm injuries during the Fourth of July season due to negligence or improper handling. So be careful!

 

Here are some quick and easy tips:

 

  • Leave the used fireworks on the ground for the next morning to thoroughly cool off. If they must be moved to a different location, don’t use your hands to touch them if they must be moved to a different location.

 

  • Don’t hold explosives (firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets, etc.) in your hands.

 

  • Have a bucket of water or sand set aside for used sparklers so barefoot kids and adults do not step on hot metal or charred wood.

 

  • Always wear shoes outside. You never know when a firework will go awry and have to run for cover.

 

  • Be aware of your surroundings.

 

 

“Of the finger, hand, and arm injuries, the majority of injuries were caused from accidents involving firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers— the three firework-types most often used in a backyard environment. Accidents involving firecrackers, bottle rockets, and hand-held sparklers totaled 57% of all firework injuries.” (source: American Pyrotechnic Association)

 

 

If you plan to leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals, here are a couple of helpful tips from the ASSH (American Society Surgery of the Hand).

 

 

  • Obey safety barriers and ushers.

  • Stay back a minimum of 500 feet from the launching site.

  • Resist the temptation to pick up firework debris when the display is over. The debris may still be hot, or in some cases, the debris might be “live” and could still explode.

  • Never give children hand-held sparklers. Sparklers cause 10% of all firework injuries  (source: American Pyrotechnics Association)—and were associated with the most injuries to children under 5 years of age.

  • (source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)

 

 

Author: Stephanie Jones AT

Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic

 

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