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6-28-11

Fireworks Injuries

Thousands of people go to hospital emergency rooms with injuries from fireworks each year.  Most of these injuries occur around the Fourth of July.

Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially this time of year.  But fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious injuries if proper precautions are not taken.  Dr. Jason Kegg, assistant professor of emergency medicine at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, explains the most common injuries from fireworks.

SOUND BITE: “Most common are limb injuries – hand and finger topping the list.  But very, very close behind are hearing loss, amputation loss of hands, limbs, depending on what portion of the body is close when an explosion goes off.”

Dr. Kegg says all fireworks are meant to be displayed at a distance – most injuries occur when people get too close.  He recommends some safety precautions.

SOUND BITE: “. . . safety first, good judgment, make sure that you have got safe distances, safe areas, plenty of water available should the worst occur. The best things are public displays.  Leave it to people who are used to using pyrotechnics and explosives and fireworks.  If you can gather everyone up and go somewhere that actually has a license and a permit that’s always the safest bet.”

By being cautious and following safety rules when using and watching fireworks, you can have a safe and happy Fourth of July.  If anyone is injured by fireworks, they should go to a hospital emergency room as quickly as possible.

This is Ruth Slottag at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.