Published on July 02, 2020

Silver Cross Hospital Wishes you a Safe and Happy Fourth of July

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. With this exciting holiday happening during a pandemic this year, there are many towns and villages that will not be putting on a public fireworks show to encourage social distancing. With this, you might be thinking of creating your own firework display for your family or friends, but the Silver Cross Hospital Emergency Room doctors say to “Leave it to the professionals!” It is so important to take precaution when dealing with a potentially dangerous product.

Celebrate with Caution

“This Fourth of July is going to be a happy and exciting time for many people as they are now able to visit with family and friends while respecting the precautions of social distancing. 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 2019, about 10,000 people were injured by fireworks and there were 12 firework-related deaths reported during the month surrounding the Fourth of July. Of these firework-related injuries:

· 73% occurred between June 21 and July 21.

· Sparklers were the number one cause of injuries, accounting for roughly 900 injuries.

· Half of the reported sparkler injuries involved children younger than 5.

· 66% of the injuries were to males.

· Similar to 2018, nearly half of the estimated injuries were to individuals younger than 20 years of age.

· Of the 12 deaths, several occurred when victims held and ignited fireworks.

· CPSC has reports of 126 fireworks-related deaths between 2004 and 2019.

“The upper body is where most firework-related injuries occur,” says Dr. Taras. “The hands, fingers, eyes, head and face are most frequently injured.” 

Safety Tips from the Product Safety Experts

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!

· Never allow young children to play with, or ignite, fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.

· Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.

· Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly.

· Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.

· Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

· Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone.

· After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.

· Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.

· For more fireworks safety tips from CPSC, click here.

Emergency Care Nearby

Even with the utmost caution, firework-related injuries can still occur. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Silver Cross Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen is staffed with board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses. Located in the same building as the Emergency Room, the Silver Cross Health Center offers MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound, EKG and laboratory services. A physician’s order is required for all testing. To schedule an appointment, visit SCHeduleNow for online scheduling or call (815) 300-7076.

Silver Cross Hospital would like to wish our community a safe, happy and healthy Fourth of July! 

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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.