As family and friends celebrate this Fourth of July, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) reminds parents and caregivers to use extra caution with fireworks, especially around children. Improper handling of fireworks can cause burns and eye injuries.
“The safety of children is paramount at DCFS and accidents can happen very quickly. Knowing the risks involved and how to properly handle fireworks will decrease the likelihood of an injury,” said DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier. “Children should never be left alone with fireworks and should be supervised at all times to avoid injuries.”
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 2013 Fireworks Annual Report, in a 30 day period around the Independence Day holiday children under the age of 15 accounted for 40% of firework related injuries.
If you plan to use fireworks, follow these tips from the CPSC:
• Never allow children to play with or light fireworks.
• Always read and follow all warnings and label instructions.
• The adult lighting the fireworks should always wear eye protection. No one should ever have any part of the body over the fireworks.
• Use fireworks outdoors only.
• Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
• Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
• Light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house. Also keep away from dry leaves and other flammable materials.
• Light only one firework at a time.
• Never throw or point fireworks at other people or animals.
• Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
• Never re-light a dud firework. Douse and soak them with water.
• Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and then putting them in the trash.