A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

Keep fireworks shows happy, not hazardous

Editor’s note: This post was updated June 2020 to reflect current data. 

Like many families, your Fourth of July celebration may include a backyard fireworks show in the name of good old-fashioned family fun.

If you choose to light your own fireworks, remember to follow simple safety tips to keep your family’s “oohs” and “aahs” from turning into cries for help caused by fireworks injuries.

Know the risks of lighting fireworks

“Fireworks can be dangerous and unpredictable,” Marshfield Clinic Health System pediatrician Dr. Jeff Clark said. “They send approximately 290 people to emergency departments around the country every day from mid-June to mid-July.”

Most people injured by fireworks have wounds to their hands, head or eyes, he said.

Prepare for a safe celebration

Plan ahead for safety before you light fireworks to reduce your risk of injury.

Responsible adults should be the only ones lighting fireworks, Clark said. Wear protective gear; be aware of people, pets and objects around you; handle fireworks carefully; and be prepared in case of an emergency.

Clark adds that per WI Law, a local permit is required to use firecrackers or any explosive that leaves the ground.

The easiest way to play it safe is to leave the booms and bangs to the professionals. Head to your community’s Fourth of July display with lawn chairs, blankets, snacks and glow sticks.

Important tips for fireworks safety

Click on the targets in the image below for important tips for keeping your Fourth of July safe and click on the following CPSC report for the latest data on fireworks injuries.

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