Firework Safety Tips

By Lillian Liao

New Year’s is a time for celebratingand what better way to ring in the New Year than with fireworks?

However, before you light up that sparkler this holiday week, make sure to consider the hazards of fireworks and how to keep yourself and your children safe.

Are fireworks safe for my family to use?

Children can be especially vulnerable to firework-related injuries since most parents do not consider the safety risks associated with seemingly harmless fireworks, like sparklers.

“Sparklers, which are often considered safe for small children, can burn up to temperatures of 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the same heat as from a blow torch,” said Dr. Lilian Liao, pediatric trauma and burn director at University Hospital. “They can not only cause serious injuries to kids, but can also be a fire hazard. “

So, while it may seem like a good idea to set off your own fireworks, Dr. Liao stresses that it’s usually better to let the professionals handle them instead.

“Fireworks are best done by professionals. However, if you choose to light your own, do not try to relight ones that do not go off or look directly into any firework.” Dr. Liao said.

What can I do to protect myself and my family when setting off fireworks?

If you choose to light up this week here are some important safety tips to remember:

  • A responsible adult should supervise children at all times
  • Never mix alcohol and fireworks. Save that drink for later.
  • Never relight a firework that doesn’t go off
  • Always have a bucket of water and water hose nearby
  • Use fireworks in an outdoor area away from buildings

And remember—if someone does suffer a firework-related injury or burn it’s important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

University Health System’s Pediatric Trauma and Burn Center is part of the only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in South Texas and has proven expertise in taking care of seriously injured children. For more information, call 210-358-4000.

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