Many people associate fireworks with ushering the New Year or celebrating Independence Day, but Memorial Day is another holiday frequently commemorated with fireworks. Although fireworks are fun, they can quickly turn tragic especially if a child is injured. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, ~40% of all reported fireworks-related injuries are to fingers, hands, and arms. These injuries include burns, lacerations, fractures, and traumatic amputations. Of the finger, hand, and arm injuries, the majority of injuries were caused from accidents involving firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers. Sparklers cause 10% of all firework injuries and are associated with the most injuries to children under 5 years of age.
The American Society for Surgery of the Hand urges the public to leave fireworks in the hands of the professionals. ASSH encourages individuals to attend public fireworks displays, which are monitored for firework safety by a local fire department, rather than setting off fireworks near or around the home. In general, holiday fireworks may be discharged from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m, however, you should check your local ordinance as it may further restrict fireworks usage. Contact your local fire department if you have any questions about fireworks practices in your locale.
Fireworks safety tips
Have a safe holiday!
Dr. Izadi is a hand, wrist, and elbow orthopedic specialist at MD West ONE.