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“Ooh and aah” at Fireworks out of harm’s way this July 4th

Silver Cross Hospital Offers Safety Tips to Avoid Harmful Injuries

New Lenox, IL (July 2, 2014) — Each year as we celebrate our nation’s Independence Day that occurred on July 4, 1776,  fireworks are often used to commemorate the United States  freedom as a sovereign nation. However, the excitement of fireworks can also bring pain and injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2013 there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 consumers who sustained injuries related to fireworks. This is an increase from 8,700 injuries in 2012. Silver Cross Hospital encourages you and your loved ones to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day safely.

Here are some powerful numbers about fireworks injuries:

  • Of the thousands of firework-related injuries that occur each year in the United States, the most injured body parts occur to the following areas: 36% of injuries to hands and fingers, 22% to heads, face and ears, and 16% to the eyes. 
  • The most dangerous kind of firework is the bottle rocket because they fly erratically, often causing bystander injuries. The bottles and cans used to launch bottle rockets often explode, showering fragments of glass and metal.
  • Sparklers account for three-quarters of all firework injuries in preschoolers. Young children find these sticks of fire – burning as hot as 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit – irresistible to touch. 

“Since more fireworks are used on and around the Fourth of July than in any other celebration, there is a larger concentration of injuries during this time,” says  Dr. Heather Taras, Emergency Medicine physician at the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd in Homer Glen. “People need to use extreme caution around fireworks because these types of injuries oftentimes leave patients with permanently damaged body parts.” 

Safety Tips

You can enjoy a spectacular fireworks show safely by following a few tips from the CPSC:

  • Do not drink alcohol and set off fireworks.
  • Wear eye protection.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them. 

Finally, what's the safest way to spend your Fourth of July?

“It's really a lot safer to go to a professional show at one of the many area park districts,” says   Dr. Taras. “By letting trained experts light the fireworks, all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the show.” 

Emergency Care Nearby

Even with the utmost caution, Fourth of July-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 5 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. In 2013, Silver Cross provided over $48 million in charity care and other community benefits. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit http://www.silvercross.org/ or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.

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Located at 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451   Main Phone (815) 300-1100

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Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care.  These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.