If you plan on ringing in the Fourth of July with fireworks, make sure you don’t cut your celebrations short with a trip to the emergency room or urgent care. On average, 280 people have a fireworks-related medical emergency each day, during the month around Independence Day. To help you stay safe this season, Dr. Terry Lapid, with Dignity Health Medical Group – Dominican’s urgent care center, has a few recommendations.
“When it comes to fireworks safety, and preventing injuries, a lot of it boils down to common sense,” says Dr. Lapid. First, make sure you are following your county’s rules for firework usage. “Surrounding our urgent care clinic here in Capitola, there are a lot of communities where personal fireworks are prohibited.” Check your county’s website for firework usage information and if you have questions, call your local fire department non-emergency number.
All fireworks, even sparklers, need to have attentive adult supervision. “Making sure kids aren’t off lighting their own fireworks can prevent a lot of accidents,” says Dr. Lapid. If you’re the adult in charge of supervising, try to keep things organized, use a long handled lighter or match, and keep bystanders at a safe distance. Don’t let your celebrating get the best of you, and remember that fireworks are highly dangerous if not handled properly. If you’re lighting fireworks, protective goggles are also recommended.
Remember, the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to leave them to the professionals.
Last year, more than 53 percent of firework-related injuries were burns. The most commonly injured body parts from fireworks are the hands, head, and legs, but flying parts off fireworks can hit and injure any extremity.
“With firework injuries, we see a lot of burns, foreign objects that people have stepped on, and active bleeding from puncture wounds,” reports Dr. Lapid. For minor fireworks injuries, you can visit your local urgent care. At Dignity Health Medical Group – Dominican’s urgent care, hours have recently been extended to 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. every day, including weekends and holidays, and patients can make appointments online. For other serious injuries, you will need to visit the ER. “If you are hit with a firework or rocket, have excessive bleeding, or have a very serious injury, you’ll need to visit the emergency room,” says Dr. Lapid.
If you would like to learn more about fireworks safety, please visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's website: https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks.
Dignity Health Medical Group – Dominican’s urgent care center offers expert, same-day medical treatment and is located at 1820 41st Avenue, Suite C, in Capitola. The urgent care center is now offering extended hours, and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day. Patients are invited to make same-day appointments online. To learn more, click here or call 931.684.7611.