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Wear the Gown: Doctor warns of dangers, injuries associated with fireworks

Dr. Huzar said the range of injuries that come into the emergency room during the holiday weekend include burns, ruptured eardrums, fractures and lost fingers.

HOUSTON — This 4th of July, people will be celebrating at home, prompting many to purchase fireworks for the first time.

But fireworks are dangerous, especially in the hands of children.

Dr. Todd Huzar, a surgeon and burn specialist with UT Physicians, has treated some of the most severe injuries in the Houston area.

“Most people think sparklers are benign, but they are actually quite dangerous,” Dr. Huzar said.

“They burn to about 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt metal. So imagine what that can do to your skin," Dr. Huzar said.

Dr. Huzar said the range of injuries that come into the emergency room during the holiday weekend include burns, ruptured eardrums, fractures and lost fingers.

Last year, 10,000 people were treated in emergency rooms in the U.S. for firework-related injuries, and 12 people died, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Dr. Huzar said parents should give out glow sticks and confetti poppers, in place of sparklers, and leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals.

Fireworks safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire
  • Never use illegal fireworks

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