AUGUSTA, Ga. ( WJBF) — Independence Day is right around the corner, and Americans will celebrate our nation’s birthday with a bang. According to The Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 280 people goes to the emergency room every day in July with fireworks-related injuries.
While celebrating the holiday, you should remember fireworks can be dangerous to everyone around them when not properly used. Dr. Beretta Coffman with the Joseph M. Still Burn Center says this is the time of summer when people will make a trip to see her at the emergency room.
“People are injured in multiple ways during this celebratory time, but often, alcohol is involved in the injuries,” said Coffman.
The doctor says injuries to the hands are the most common injury they see during the fourth of July weekend.
“It is not uncommon for people to lose their fingers secondary to a firework injury,” explained Coffman.
Every year about 7,000 people are treated for fireworks-related injuries. Most of those incidents involve children. NewsChannel 6 reporter Devin Johnson went to Wacky Waynes to see how shoppers are keeping themselves and others safe just before the holiday.
“Stay far away from fireworks,” said Jake and Toby Hydrick. “When you’re shooting them off, keep the little kids away from them.”
Another shopper told Devin, he is buying fireworks for his two boys and their friend. However, he has strict rules for the boys.
“Where the gloves and use the long lighter,” explained Jed Howington. “Also, as soon as we light, we back up as far as we can.”
Most people consider sparklers to be a safe option for youngsters. Sparklers can burn at 1,200 degrees —- hot enough to burn some metals. Dr. Coffman says that can lead to a hand, eye or foot injury for young children.
“Typically, once people have used the sparklers, they will set it on the ground,” explained Coffman. “That’s another opportunity for kids to walk over a hot wire.”
Dr. Coffman suggests to let kids hold a glow stick instead of the sparkler. The Augusta Fire Department urges firework users always to have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby.