Fireworks: The Best First Aid is Safety

Fireworks safety tips for July 4thIn addition to filling prescriptions, Brian’s Pharmacies is the first stop for many who need first aid supplies.  Bandages, eye drops, antibiotic creme and sunburn lotion are common purchases here.  With summer beginning this week, we thought we’d share with our valued customers some important safety tips so you can avoid common ‘Independence Day Injuries’.

Fireworks Safety

They’re fun, beautiful, and exciting, but fireworks are dangerous.  Emergency Room physician Ryan Stanton MD states, “We see pretty significant hand and eye injuries from fireworks every summer.” In 2012, approximately 8,700 people were treated at emergency centers in the US for fireworks-related injuries.  Surely there are thousands more injuries that are not severe enough to require emergency room treatment.  How can you stay safe around fireworks?

The US Consumer Products Safety Commission recommends the following safety precautions:

  • Make sure the fireworks you want to buy are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never allow young children to play with or light fireworks, including sparklers. Did you know that sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees?   That’s hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Always have an adult closely supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to view a professional display.  Only 2% of fireworks-related injuries are from publicly displayed fireworks shows.

We’re Here to Help

If you are unfortunate enough to suffer an injury due to fire or fireworks this summer, what should you do?  Quickly wrap the injury in a clean cloth (towel or t-shirt) saturated in cool water, and get medical attention immediately.

We know the summer months are great days to celebrate, but we want our community to do so safely.  Exercise caution and common sense, and if accidents do happen, remember that we’re just around the corner for your first-aid supplies.

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