Fireworks Injure Thousands of Kids Each Year
Media Contact: Mary Margaret Colliver, 859-361-1887
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 23, 2008) -In 2006, more than 2,000 children ages 14 and under were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for injuries involving fireworks during the fireworks season, which runs from the middle of June until the middle of July. Children ages 10 to 14 have the highest rate of injury from fireworks.
"Don't let kids play with fireworks, period," said Sherri Hannan, Safe Kids Fayette County coordinator. "They're intended for use by adults in open spaces, with plenty of active supervision for every child present."
Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing. "Teach your children what to do if their clothing catches on fire - 'stop, drop and roll' - and how to call 911 in an emergency," said Hannan.
Many pyrotechnic devices are illegal in Fayette County as well as other areas of Kentucky. Where permitted by law, fireworks should be handled and used in strict accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and all warning labels. In addition, Safe Kids Fayette County recommends these precautions for adults using fireworks:
- Light fireworks only on smooth, flat surfaces, and aim them away from buildings, dry leaves, flammable materials and spectators.
- Do not try to relight fireworks that malfunction.
- Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or hold them close to your face.
- Visit www.recalls.gov to make sure the pyrotechnic devices you are using are not subject to any safety recalls. Do not modify fireworks or use homemade fireworks.
- Keep a phone handy, and know first aid for burns. Also, keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.
Finally, as in any activity involving hazardous equipment, keep all children under active supervision - in sight and in reach at all times, with your undivided attention focused on them - when they're near fireworks. "The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them at a community event where professionals handle them," said Hannan.
Safe Kids Fayette County works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children 14 and under. Its members include health professionals and representatives from police, fire, schools and the community. Safe Kids Fayette County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids Fayette County was founded in 1993 and is led by UK HealthCare's Kentucky Children's Hospital.
For more information about fireworks safety and burn prevention, contact Safe Kids Fayette County at 859-323-1153.