A 9-year-old boy was badly burned over half of his body in Garrett County on the Fourth of July after a sparkler set fire to his shirt.

The boy, whose name was not immediately released, was in critical condition in Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh with burns over 50 percent of his body on his chest, neck and arms.

State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci said in a news release that the boy was injured at about 10 a.m. Friday while camping at Savage State Forest in Swanton. While the boy's mother was inside their tent, the boy went outside, lit the sparkler, and accidentally ignited his shirt.

Sparklers are legal in Maryland, Geraci said.

"Hand held sparklers burn at 1,200¿F and can quickly ignite combustibles such as clothing," he said in the release, adding that parents are urged "to keep fireworks out of the reach of children to avoid turning a holiday into a potential tragedy."

mary.mccauley@baltsun.com