SIU School of Medicine

Jump directly to a section:

Office of Public Affairs

News Line
7.2.13



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.

“As far as the injuries we see, it’s everything from hand and foot-type injuries to face and eye-type injuries.  Some are actually pretty disabling.  These certainly aren’t minor injuries, they can mean the loss of fingers or toes or even the loss of a hand, depending on what type of firework is being used.”

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.

“Going to a fireworks show is safer than trying to do it yourself, even if there are things like sparklers or smoke bombs or things that just give off smoke.  Making sure that there is a sober, responsible adult who is managing the fireworks is safest, and especially how dry our Julys usually are, making sure you’ve got water close, be it even if it is a bucket of water or a hose for unavoidable fires ...”

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.

Ruth Slottag