Augusta, GA – The Fourth of July may have come and gone, but for some, injuries from using fireworks may still be affecting them after the holiday.
Mishandling fireworks is a big deal because you could be seriously hurt. It’s important to know what to do and when to seek medical attention if you find yourself in a situation where you or someone you know is injured.
Hundreds of people in Georgia shot their legally bought fireworks this weekend, but if they weren’t careful they risked severe or even deadly injuries.
“The major body part is the hands and fingers that you’ll have injured. Most fireworks injuries are mainly, about 60 percent of them are all upper extremity or all upper body,” said Emergency Physician Ryan Johnson.
According to the National Fire Protection Association in 2014 an estimated 10,500 firework related injuries were treated in ER’s in hospitals across the U.S.
“70 percent of the injuries occur in males. It’s usually males trying to do something maybe a little fun, exciting for them, an adrenaline rush,” said Johnson.
Many injuries happen because people just don’t know how to properly use fireworks – setting them off too close to others, incorrectly shooting them, and even lighting them in their hands.
“The major things, major type of products that people get injured on are things that you wouldn’t think they would get injured on. Simple sparklers is the number one thing that people injury themselves with,” Johnson said.
People who suffer minor burns are treated and discharged the same day, but in severe cases some patients are transferred to a specialist.
“If there’s a large area of the palm that is burned they will get sent to the burn center. If there is a circumferential, I mean all around the finger burn, they will probably be sent to the burn center as well,” Johnson told News Channel 6.
Doctor Johnson says high power fireworks, such as a bottle rocket or mortar tubes are the ones that usually cause amputations or loss of body parts, but small fireworks such as firecrackers and roman candles are also dangerous to users.