Myrtle Beach, SC - About 7,000 people in the United States will go to the ER with fireworks-related injuries around the Fourth of July holiday. This Independence Day, Grand Strand Health encourages you to prevent fireworks accidents by practicing common sense and following basic safety rules.

"Many people don't realize that sparklers can be just as dangerous as other fireworks," says Dr. Radley Short, Emergency Medicine Physician with Grand Strand Health. "Approximately 900 people in the U.S. were treated in the ER for injuries related to sparklers in 2016. They can burn at temperatures of over 2,000 degrees and can quickly light clothing or hair on fire."

In 2016, there were an estimated 11,100 fireworks-related injuries in the U.S. Fifty-three percent of those were to the hands, head, face and ears, and 31 percent of injuries occurred in children under the age of 15. Many of these injuries could have been prevented with proper safety equipment and adult supervision.

To avoid injury from sparklers and fireworks, the experts of Grand Strand Health recommend following these guidelines:

  • Buy only legal fireworks, and read the cautionary labels on your fireworks before use.
  • Don't buy anything packaged in brown paper, because these are likely professional-grade fireworks that can be dangerous to consumers.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Don't consume alcohol when using fireworks.
  • Only light one firework at a time, then move away.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully. Wait 20 minutes before approaching the firework, then soak it in water overnight before disposing of it.
  • Never shoot fireworks into metal or glass containers.
  • Never allow children to play with fireworks. Don't let small children light or get close to fireworks when lit.

Source: US Consumer Product and Safety Commission 2016 Fireworks Annual Report