Winona Health Emergency Department physicians and staff are reminding people about the dangers of improper use of fireworks.
“Handling fireworks can cause severe injury including eye injuries and burns. The best way to prevent firework injuries is to not use any fireworks at home,” said Brett Whyte, MD, Winona Health medical chief. “Leave the fireworks to the professionals, and have a wonderful holiday.”
If fireworks are legal in your area and you decide to use them, the following tips can decrease the odds for injury:
- Keep fireworks (including firecrackers, rockets and sparklers) out of the hands of children. If kids have sparklers, keep them outside and away from the face, clothing and hair.
- Buy only legal fireworks. Legal fireworks will have a label with the manufacturer’s name and directions.
- Never try to make your own fireworks.
- Stay outdoors and have a water source (bucket and hose) nearby.
- Stay clear of other people.
- Wear eye protection.
- Do not hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting.
- Do not carry fireworks in your pocket—friction could set them off.
- Never try to relight a dud.
- Stay away from houses and any flammable materials.
- Do not let kids pick up pieces of fireworks after an event.
- Keep pets indoors.
- Soak fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in a trash can.
In the event of an injury, seek immediate medical help. If an eye injury occurs, do not touch or rub it, and do not flush with water. Seek medical attention immediately.
In the event of a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn and call your doctor.
In an emergency, immediately call 911. The Emergency Department at Winona Health and the Winona Area Ambulance Service are here for you 24 hours a day, every day.
More information about Fireworks safety is available from The National Council on Fireworks Safety, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose sole mission is to educate the public on the safe and responsible use of consumer fireworks. For a full list of consumer fireworks safety tips and a safety video: www.FireworksSafety.org.