MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Consumer Product Safety Commission says there are 280 people — on average — that go to the emergency room every day with firework-related injuries in the weeks surrounding the Fourth of July.
“We see burns from fireworks, hand injuries, eye injuries,” Dr. Andy Laudenback with Hennepin Healthcare.
Laudenbach says the two most affected groups are children ages 10 to 14 and teens 15 to 10.
“Not being supervised adequately or getting into things on their own,” Laudenbach said.
Craig Johnson says he’s very cautious that people are out of the way when he uses fireworks.
“I still have all my fingers,” Johnson said.
But it’s not just fireworks that cause injuries on the holiday. Doctors say campfires are also a culprit.
“People getting excited about their bonfires, they get them going with gasoline, which is never a good idea,” Laudenbach said.
Heat-related illnesses are also common — even injuries from fishing hooks.
“On days when you’re not working, it’s hot out, people tend to drink more alcohol so some of that judgement goes out the window a little bit,” Laudenbach said.
The National Traffic Highway Association says in 2017, close to 40% of traffic deaths on the Fourth of July were alcohol-related, so it’s important to have a sober ride lined up.
As for fireworks, the CPSC’s tips for use are as follows: Don’t let young children play with them; sparklers look fun but they can reach 1,800 degrees Farenheit; don’t ever light a firework in your hand — put them on the ground.
And if a firework malfunctions and doesn’t go off, wait several minutes before checking it.