Caring for Our Kids: Keeping your children safe from fireworks injuries

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Independence Day is an exciting holiday for many families, but it can also be dangerous. More than 3,000 children under the age of 15 are treated in emergency rooms across the United States each year because of fireworks.

Dr. Lisa Christensen with Children’s Hospital says the most common fireworks injuries are serious burns to the hand and face as well as eye injuries.

She says sparklers are not safer. They can reach temperatures above 1,200 degrees, causing severe burns if touched to the skin. Little arms are too short to hold sparklers safely.

The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents not to use fireworks at home, but some people still will. Make sure they are legal in your city or county. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Point fireworks away from homes and keep them away from brush, leaves and flammable substances. Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby.

If your child is injured by fireworks, removed burned clothing, unless it is stuck to the skin, and immediately go to the doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

Christensen says it’s really best to leave the fireworks to the professionals and enjoy a public fireworks show.

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