As Americans around the country are getting ready to celebrate the fourth of July holiday, the federal government is warning people to stay safe when handling fireworks following a new report that reveals fireworks-related injuries are on the rise.
The new report released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that fireworks-related injuries jumped around 25 percent between 2006 and 2021.
According to the report, CPSC received reports of at least nine fireworks-related deaths last year and around 11,500 emergency hospital visits due to fireworks.
“Adults 25 to 44 years of age experienced about 32 percent of the estimated injuries, and children younger than 15 years of age accounted for 29 percent of the estimated injuries,” the report said about the 2021 findings.
The report found that sparklers accounted for the greatest number of emergency department-treated injuries last year with 1,100 reported incidents.
“Sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees, so it’s the same temperature as a blowtorch, and it’s really important to know that these aren’t toys so it shouldn’t be handed to kids,” said Alex Hoehn-Saric, CPSC Chair.
CPSC said there are precautions people can take if they do choose to set off fireworks.
First, make sure the types of fireworks you are using are legal where you live.
Always make sure there is water nearby and only light off one firework at a time.
Finally, walk away once you’ve set one off.
“Recognize that these are explosives,” said Hoehn-Saric. “These are inherently dangerous, so you need to treat it that way.”
Virginia resident Caroline McLaughlin uses fireworks every year and she said this is advice she’s bringing back to her own family.
“We usually use really small ones when we do them,” said McLaughlin. “It definitely concerns me. We personally haven’t had any issues with it but hearing that, I will definitely consider it.”
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