Take Precautions While Celebrating Independence Day
New Lenox, IL (June 27, 2013)—Fireworks are a staple of our country’s Independence Day. The beautiful colors and impressive explosions make fireworks particularly enticing for those celebrating the Fourth of July. Whether you partake in your own firework displays, or you leave the responsibility to professionals, it is important to take precaution when dealing with a potentially dangerous product.
Before you decide to purchase your own fireworks, make sure you check with your local fire department or village administrators for a better understanding of firework laws in your town. Even though there are many states that allow some types of fireworks, there are restrictions at the county city levels. Understanding the law will allow you to celebrate your Fourth of July without worry of legal conflict.
If your laws permit the use of fireworks, be sure to learn some safety tips before lighting off that first bottle rocket.
“The 4th of July is a great way to celebrate our nation’s freedom with family and friends. However, since firework-use is much more common around this time of year, there is a higher concentration of firework-related injuries,” explains Dr. Heather Taras, emergency medicine physician at the Silver Cross Emergency Care Center of Homer Glen.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2011, 200 people on average were taken to the emergency room daily in the month surrounding the Fourth of July in order to treat firework-related injuries. Of these injuries:
- More than half were burns.
- 46 percent were injuries to the hands or fingers.
- 34 percent of the injuries were inflicted above the shoulders including the eyes, face, and ears.
- 17 percent of the injuries were attributed to sparklers.
- An estimated 40 percent of the injuries were suffered by individuals age 25-44.
- Another 26 percent of the injuries were suffered by children age 0-14.
- Males were far more common to sustain injury, with 66 percent of all firework-related injuries affecting men and 34 percent affecting women.
“The upper body is where most firework-related injuries occur,” says Dr. Taras. “The hands, fingers, eyes, head and face are most frequently injured.”
The CPSC has offered the following tips in regards to firework safety. Follow these tips to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July experience!
- Do not drink alcohol and set off fireworks.
- Have an adult present when using fireworks; never give fireworks to small children, and never leave older kids unsupervised with fireworks.
- Use fireworks outdoors only.
- Always have water handy, such as a garden hose and a bucket, and when you’re finished with sparklers and other fireworks, soak them so you know they’re out!
- Never re-light a “dud” firework (wait 15 minutes before approaching the firework and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- The shooter should always wear eye protection and they should not have their body over the firework.
- Ultimately, the safest way to enjoy fireworks is leaving it up to the trained experts. By attending a public firework show, all you have to do is sit there and enjoy the display!
Emergency Care Nearby
Even with the utmost caution, firework-related injuries can still occur. It is good to know peace of mind is just minutes away at the Silver Cross Emergency Care Center located at 143rd and Bell Rd. in Homer Glen. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Center is staffed with Silver Cross Hospital’s board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses. For more information, call (708) 364-6004.
Located in the same building is the Silver Cross Health Center offering MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound, EKG and laboratory services. A physician’s order is required. To schedule an appointment for a test, call (815) 300-7076. There are also several primary and specialty physician offices and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross. For a referral to a physician at the Homer Glen medical center, call 1-888-660-HEAL or visit www.silvercross.org.
About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years and as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 3,000 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 289-bed acute care hospital and 9 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Silver Cross opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital on February 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).