Social distancing guidelines have forced some cities and towns across the United States to cancel their celebrations, including firework shows, for the Fourth of July. This means that many more people will be celebrating at home and may plan to set off their own fireworks.
Experts are warning that there is always a risk when using fireworks at home. A common misconception is that small and legal fireworks are always safe to use. However, there is always a risk because pyrotechnics are unpredictable and can easily malfunction. Even sparklers can reach up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and cause serious burns.
Children under 18 are most at risk to suffer injuries from fireworks, accounting for more than a third of fireworks-related injuries. Those between the ages of 5 and 9 are more than twice as likely to be injured by fireworks as any other age group. The safest way to enjoy fireworks this year, especially during a pandemic, is to stay home and watch them on TV.
If you do decide to purchase fireworks to set off at home, make sure you are familiar with local rules and regulations. Keep a bucket of water close by, even if you are just using sparklers. Light one firework at a time, and make sure to maintain a safe distance once it is lit. If you, or your child, happen to suffer a burn from a firework, the first step is to remove yourself or your child from the source of the injury. Small burns may be rinsed off with cool water, but if you or your child suffer a second- or third-degree burn, you should seek medical attention immediately.