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Providing safe ways for children to celebrate on Fourth of July

Many people think sparklers safe enough to hand to a child at a Fourth of July celebration. But not so fast. (WJAR)

Many people think sparklers safe enough to hand to a child at a Fourth of July celebration.

But not so fast, said Dr. Dina Burstein of the Injury Prevention Center at Rhode Island Hospital.

“They're actually not so benign,” said Burstein, noting that 1,900 visits to the emergency room each year across the nation are due to sparkler injuries. “And I think what people don't realize is that they actually burn at a very high temperature -- up to 2,000 degrees -- so that's the equivalent of what a blow torch would be at.”

Burstein said sparkler injuries are the most common cause of fireworks injuries during what safety officials say is the most dangerous holiday of the year.

"Mostly burns,” said Burstein. “Very commonly to the hands, often to the face, injuries to the eyes."

And there's more you should know in terms of children.

"It's children who account for most of the fireworks injuries,” said Burstein. “Children under 15 account for 26 percent of the estimated number of fireworks injuries."

But Burstein also said there are some much safer alternatives that are still fun.

“Things like pom-poms and glow sticks,” said Burstein, adding noisemakers, as well as bubbles, to the list.

All of those, she said, are ways to help ensure your child avoids the emergency room.

Click here to learn more about firework safety.

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