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Firework Safety

Americans love to celebrate Fourth of July with a bang. And we love to see those brilliant bursts of sparkling colors light up the sky. But there's a darker side to fireworks: They can be more dangerous than you might think.

All too often, fireworks users end up in emergency departments with severe burns or injured hands or eyes. Even sparklers can burn at a metal-melting 2,000 degrees! You may consider this before you hand a sparkler to a child.

How to enjoy fireworks safely

Experts make it quite clear: The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks display run by a fireworks pro. But if fireworks are legal where you live and you still want to use them despite the risks, then check out these 10 tips:

  1. Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper. They're meant for the pros and not safe for everyone else.
  2. Make sure an adult supervises the fireworks activities at all times.
  3. Don't let young children use fireworks. They might have fun with glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers instead.
  4. Be careful to use fireworks well away from people, houses or things that can burn. Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby.
  5. Never stand over a firework when lighting the fuse.
  6. Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands or throw them at people.
  7. Only light one firework at a time—then quickly get back.
  8. Never set off fireworks in bottles or cans.
  9. Don't try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not gone off.
  10. Soak spent fireworks in water before throwing them away.

Fireworks can be a fun, festive part of your Fourth of July celebrations, but you need to always take the proper precautions when buying lighting and disposing of your fireworks in order to prevent injuries and fires.

In case of injury, seek immediate medical care. If you are experiencing an emergency, the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Emergency Department is open every second of every day to provide care for you and your family.

For additional fireworks safety tips, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.