Fireworks: Worth the Big Bang? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/29/04

Fireworks: Worth the Big Bang?

Most cultures celebrate important holidays with a bang-the bang of fireworks. Fireworks are exciting, beautiful, but not for amateurs.

Every year over 9,500 people are seen in emergency rooms and 1,200 are hospitalized as a result of injuries from fireworks. 4 die from those injuries.

Unfortunately, over 50% of the harm is to children under the age of 14. The most frequently damaged sites are hands, eyes, and face. Cuts and bruises are also frequent.

Firecrackers, rockets and sparklers account for the most injuries. These are know as class C fireworks and sold legally in many states including Texas.

Sparklers usually cause injury to children under 5. We treat them as relatively safe yet they burn at a temperature of more than 1,000 degrees. 

Children are more likely to be injured when they are unsupervised. Bottle rockets may injure when on goes astray or someone bend over to get a closer look. Young children may not have the coordination to handle fireworks safely.

Fireworks also cause fires-an estimated $15.6 million in direct property damage each year. In rural areas, that damage often occurs to someone else's backyard because people trespass and use fields as their fireworks base.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the following guidelines for handling fireworks.

  • Obey local laws. Fireworks are illegal in the city of Lubbock.
  • Adult supervision is absolutely necessary.
  • Light fireworks in an open space away from dry leaves, grass, or other flammable products.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies.
  • Keep everyone out of range before lighting them.

Better yet, enjoy local fireworks displays and leave the fireworks to the professionals.

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