Fireworks: Best left to professionals
Fireworks can really brighten up a celebration but they also can be dangerous if used incorrectly.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
• In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks-related injuries; 55 percent of 2014 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38 percent were to the head.
• The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 0-4, followed by children 10-14.
• On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
Even sparklers, which appear harmless, can be a threat. Sparklers account for one-third of the injuries to children under five, according to the NFPA. Sparklers can burn at more than 1,000°F and set clothes on fire, while firecrackers can injure the hands or face if they explode nearby. Children are often excited and curious around fireworks, and this can increase their chances of being injured.
For all these reasons, the Fire Protection Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommend that fireworks be used only by professionals. The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.