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Tips to avoid fireworks injuries from Safe Kids Carroll

Tips to avoid fireworks injuries from Safe Kids Carroll
Maryland State Fire Marshal bomb squad member shows the aftermath of a rubber hand that held a quarter stick illegal firework, left, to show the danger of using illegal fireworks during a 2016 news conference to discuss fireworks safety. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Safe Kids Carroll County offers Fourth of July safety tips.

Each year, more than 4,100 children ages 14 and under are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for injuries involving fireworks. Most of these injuries occur in the few weeks before and after the Fourth of July. Children ages 5 to 9 have the highest rate of injury from fireworks.

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Don’t let kids play with fireworks, period. They’re intended for use by adults in open spaces, with plenty of 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.

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 Carroll 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 adult 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.

For more information about fireworks safety and burn prevention, contact 410-876-4448 or visit the Office of the State Fire Marshal website at mdsp.maryland.gov.

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