Brilliant colored fireworks, backyard barbecues, and hanging out with family and friends at a campfire are the highlights of every Fourth of July holiday celebration. Unfortunately, with these fun events come a serious risk for injury.
Burns are a common cause of injury during the summer months and especially in July. Every year, 13,000 people nationwide find themselves in the Emergency Room as a result of firework-related injuries, often leaving permanent damage to eyes, hands & face. Over 50% of fireworks injuries occur with people under the age of 20. The improper use of fireworks can quickly turn a celebration into tragedy.
“We want everyone to have a wonderful 4th of July spending time with family and friends. Fireworks can cause life changing injuries. It is best to leave the firework show to the professionals,” said Dr. Dawn Zellner, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Bon Secours St. Francis. “Please remember to celebrate safely and responsibly. Don’t let an unfortunate accident ruin your holiday celebration.”
Here are a few tips to stay safe during your July 4th celebration:
Fireworks: • Consider safer alternatives such as glow sticks or confetti poppers.• Don’t allow children to handle fireworks-including sparklers. Sparklers can reach 2,000°F, that is hotter than a blow torch!• Observe your local and state laws. • Leave the firework shows to the professionals. • Have a designated sober adult light all legal fireworks.• Never hold a lit firework in your hand or point/throw a lit firework at anyone. • Keep children and other observers at a safe distance- behind a protective barrier.• Keep a bucket of water close for disposal of fireworks.
Also, keep in mind these general summer fire safety tips!
Grilling: • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.• The grill should be used well away from the home, deck railings and out from under leaves and overhanging branches. • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.• Never leave the grill unattended.• Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it. • Use caution when using starter fluid, only use charcoal starter fluid and never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.• Keep charcoal fluid away from children and way from heat sources.• When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Campfires: • Watch children while fire is burning. Never let children and pets play or stand too close to the fire.• Attend to the campfire at all times.• Keep a campfire small which is easier to control • NEVER use gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquids. • Always have a hose, bucket of water or shovel and dirt/sand nearby to put a fire out.• If your clothes catch on fire, cover your face and Stop, Drop and Roll until the fire is out.• Treat a burn right away. Cool the burn with cool water for 3-5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medial help if needed.
Bon Secours St. Francis – Greenville
Bon Secours St. Francis is part of Bon Secours Mercy Health, one of the 20 largest health systems in the United States and the fifth-largest Catholic health system in the country. The ministry’s quality, compassionate care is provided by more than 60,000 associates serving communities in Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia, as well as throughout Ireland. Bon Secours St. Francis – Greenville provides compassionate medical care to thousands of area residents through Bon Secours St. Francis Downtown and Bon Secours St. Francis Eastside, as well as a network of primary and specialty care practices, and ambulatory care sites across the Greenville region. Consistent with its commitment to serve each patient with dignity, Bon Secours Mercy Health provides nearly $2 million per day in community benefit. The mission of Bon Secours St. Francis – Greenville is to extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus by improving the health and well-being of our communities and bring good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underserved. For more information, visit BonSecours.com.