Each summer across the United States, millions of Americans celebrate Independence Day with friends and family by grilling burgers and hot dogs, splashing around in the pool, and enjoying the sights and sounds of a fireworks display. However, each year many 4th of July celebrations end with a trip to the emergency room due to an accidental firework mishap. In fact, around the July 4thholiday, more than 200 people each day take a trip to the emergency room for fireworks-related injuries, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPCS). In order to raise awareness and aim to prevent fireworks-related injuries, June and the earliest part of July (on and around the July 4th holiday) is Fireworks Safety Month.
In 2011, the CPCS conducted a study of fireworks injuries occurring from June 17 through July 17 and found that:
- The most injured body parts were hands and fingers, which accounted for almost half of all bodily injuries. The second most injured parts were the head and face.
- More than half the injuries were burns.
- 70% of these injuries happened to men; men 25-44 years old were had more injuries than other age groups.
- Of the 4 deaths that occurred during fireworks-related incidents in 2011, illegal or homemade fireworks were involved in each case.
Prevent Blindness America recommends that nonprofessionals refrain from using fireworks, noting that the safest way for you and your family to enjoy fireworks is by watching a professional fireworks display.
The best way to reduce your risk of injury is to be prepared—educate yourself about firework safety. The CPCS offers some safety tips in case you happen to be around nonprofessionals using fireworks: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks/.
Remember, if you or someone you love is injured due to a firework-related injury, seek immediate medical attention. It’s always a good idea to have established a primary care physician for yourself and your family in case an emergency arises and you need medical advice. It’s also helpful to know in advance which local urgent care centers are in-network with your insurance plan. If you are a Health Advocate member and need help finding an in-network primary care physician or urgent care center in your area, call us today to speak to a Personal Health Advocate who can help you with this and many other healthcare- and insurance-related issues.