Safety tips for your holiday weekend - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/28/10

Thousands injured by fireworks each year; safety tips for holiday weekend

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) –   The July 4th weekend is filled with family fun and celebrations, but it's also filled with thousands of firework accidents keeping emergency rooms and the fire department busy.

Each year about 12,000 people are injured by fireworks, and 70% of those are children under 18 years old.

"We've seen burns and eye injuries and those can be really serious; kids can lose their vision," said Covenant Pediatric ER Dr. Sameeh Valloum. "Kids like the sparklers. They walk and run and then I've seen them stick it somebody's eye or in their eye or fall on it," he said.

The Lubbock Fire Department also responds to several fires each year during the Fourth of July weekend.  "Occasionally we will get called out to deal with a fire that results from fireworks. Several grass fires and fence fires, we do get houses on fire, occasionally cars," said deputy fire marshal Robert Loveless.

Here are a few ways to keep you and your family safe this weekend:

  • Children under 12 years old should not be allowed to play with sparklers.
  • Use fireworks on hard, flat, level surfaces, not on grass or gravel to where the fireworks could tip over and hit someone.
  •  Keep a bucket of water nearby.
  • If an eye injury occurs do not flush the eye out with water and do not put ointment on the injury. Go to the ER immediately.
  • If a child receives a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool water over the burned area.

But the best way to stay safe is to leave it to the professionals. "You get to see much larger, much more brilliant fireworks, buts they're at a safe distance. There are a lot of safety precautions that are going on there to make sure you go home at the end of the night and not in the ER," said Loveless.

It is illegal to have fireworks or shoot them off inside city limits. If you are caught with them you could be ticketed, face a fine, and your fireworks will be confiscated.

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