O’FALLON — HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital wants to remind community members that while fireworks can be fun, they can also be dangerous. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, there were an estimated 10,163 fireworks-related injuries in America in 2022.
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According to medical experts at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, most injuries from fireworks occur to the hands or fingers, legs, face and eyes. Fireworks should be left to experts trained and certified so everyone can have a safe and enjoyable holiday.
Some safe firework and sparkler alternatives are party poppers, bubbles, silly string or glowsticks. These options provide the same amount of fun, but with less risk of harm for all involved.
If you do decide to use fireworks, here are 10 tips from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before purchasing.
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks and watch them closely while playing with sparklers.
- Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case of fire or other mishap.
- Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Don’t forget about your pets. Fireworks can cause extreme stress to animals. Keep your pets indoors.
- Never place a part of your body directly over a firework or hold a firework in your hand while lighting. Light fireworks one at a time and move back to a safe distance quickly.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Soak all spent and unused fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing away in a trash can. Never discard fireworks in a fire pit.
- Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from houses, dry leaves and flammable materials.
- Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper. This is often a sign they were made for professional use only.
For any minor fireworks-related injuries, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Convenient Care is available without an appointment. It is located in the O’Fallon Medical Building at 1512 N. Green Mount Road in O’Fallon and is open seven days a week. Patients can seek care for minor illnesses, sprains and strains, minor lacerations, and more.
For more information about HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, visit steliz.org.
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