Fireworks Safety– President’s Message: July 3

By Dr. Mary Campagnolo, MSNJ President

The Fourth of July is rapidly approaching! According to the latest report from the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), there were reports of three fireworks-related deaths and an estimated 8,600 hospital emergency room treated injuries in 2010. In 2009, CPSC had reports of two deaths and an estimated 8,800 injuries. In 2008, CPSC had reports of seven deaths and an estimated 7,000 injuries.

As responsible physicians concerned about the health of the public, we encourage all to review and follow these important tips. Safely enjoy our country’s celebration of independence and freedom!

The CPSC has released the following Fireworks Safety Tips:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
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About MSNJ

Founded in 1766, the Medical Society of New Jersey is the oldest professional society in the United States. The organization and its dues-paying members are dedicated to a healthy New Jersey, working to ensure the sanctity of the physician–patient relationship. In representing all medical disciplines, MSNJ advocates for the rights of patients and physicians alike, for the delivery of the highest quality medical care. This allows response to the patients’ individual, varied needs, in an ethical and compassionate environment, in order to create a healthy Garden State and healthy citizens.

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