Fireworks display

Safely celebrate the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a time for BBQ's, parades and fireworks. Fireworks can be a fun and memorable way to celebrate special events, but it's important to keep safety top-of-mind.

"The use of fireworks can be dangerous," said Dr. Richard Hon, medical director for MedCheck and occupational health programs at Community Health Network. "It is critical to follow all safety guidelines and carefully supervise children."

The National Safety Council suggests these precautions while using fireworks: 

  • Make handling fireworks off-limits for children. 
  • Set off fireworks in areas that are clear of people, away from homes and other buildings, and away from anything flammable. 
  • Keep your distance after lighting a firework, and only light one firework at a time. 
  • Never light a firework inside a container. 
  • If a firework doesn't ignite, don't try again. Instead, douse with water and discard. 
  • Be sure to keep a bucket of water near.

If you happen to burn yourself from a sparkler or firework it's important to attend to the wound. 

"Minor burns can be treated by cooling with water (do not use ice), then covering with sterile gauze," Hon said. "If the burn hurts, use over-the-counter pain medications as directed."

More severe burns should be treated by a healthcare provider. It is vital that 911 is called for serious burns or injuries.

"Never apply egg whites, butter or ointments to a burn," Hon advised. "Doing so can complicate a medical evaluation and increase the risk for infection. Always consult a doctor first before using ointments." 

If you are injured while celebrating the Fourth of July, remember Community has several locations of care open to serve you.