Author: Angelle Bonura, BSN, RN, Nursing Director of University Medical Center Burn Center
Sparks fly every New Year’s Eve, and I don’t just mean romance during the annual midnight kiss. Fireworks are the staple tradition for ringing in the New Year, and for 2018, it will be no different.
While fireworks are fun to enjoy, they also pose hazards to those using or near them. On average, 250 people report to the emergency department every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month of July around Independence Day, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. For New Year’s, that number historically spikes again.
In total, more than 50 percent of injuries involving fireworks happen to people under the age of 20.
At the University Medical Center Burn Center, it is our job not only to treat and care for those who have suffered burn injuries, but to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Here are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to popping fireworks this year, compliments of theAmerican Burn Association:
- Consider safe alternatives, such as glow sticks and confetti poppers
- Follow your local and state laws regarding fireworks
- Have a designated SOBER adult light all fireworks
- Light one firework at a time and move away quickly
- Keep children and other observers at a safe distance
- Keep a bucket of water close for disposal of fireworks
- Allow children to handle fireworks
- Attempt to alter, modify or relight fireworks
- Point or throw lit fireworks at anyone
- Ever hold lit fireworks in your hand
- Consume alcohol or drugs when lighting fireworks
- Sparklers can reach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
- Thousands of fireworks injuries were treated in the U.S. emergency rooms, often leaving permanent damage.
IF A BURN INJURY DOES HAPPEN…
- Cool the burn with COOL water.
- Remove all clothing and jewelry from the burned area.
- Cover the area with a dry clean sheet or loose bandages.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
The University Medical Center Burn Center will open in early 2018. It will be the only combined Burn-Trauma Center from Houston to Mobile, and will comprehensively treat thermal, inhalation and chemical burns.
To learn more about the new Burn Center, visit: www.umcno.org/burncenter or click here.
To learn more about our Level 1 Trauma Center, visit: www.umcno.org/trauma.