Cleveland, OH

Emergency medicine expert's fourth of July firework safety guidelines

James Stephens

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CLEVELAND, OH — Many folks are already stockpiling fireworks for the Fourth of July. While it can be a fun way to celebrate, it is critical to keep safety in mind so that no one is injured.

“I think most people tend to think this won’t happen to me. This won’t happen to me because I am so careful and I know what I am doing. This just happens to other people and that’s a problem. This can happen to any one of us,” said Purva Grover, MD, a Cleveland Clinic Children’s emergency medicine physician.

Dr. Grover has encountered a wide range of fireworks-related injuries over the years. She claims that anyone may easily burn their hands or face. There have even been tales of persons losing a leg as a result of this.

She advised that if you are going to let off fireworks, you should do so in an open area with plenty of water around to extinguish any flames.

You should also never stand over a firework when lighting it or attempt to re-light the fuse a second time since this can be deadly.

If children are present, adult supervision is also required.

On the other hand, Dr. Grover believes that sparklers are relatively safe to use.

“There are no explosives involved, so it’s a little bit different in that sense. You can get some spark burns, but I don’t see a lot of trouble with them,” she said. “If a child is young and not holding it well, they can accidentally hold the part that is sizzling which can cause some burns. But overall, those I think are relatively safe.”

Dr. Grover advises that if you are injured while attempting to put off a fireworks display, you should seek medical attention immediately. However, if the burn is slight, you can run it under cool water and bandage it in gauze.

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