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8 Fireworks Safety Tips you Need to Know

How to keep your family safe this July 4th

Hudson Valley Fireworks Safety

The summer heat, the smell of hamburgers on the grill, and the sound of fireworks can only mean one thing: It's the Fourth of July! With warm weather and family events, the holiday can be a fun time with great memories. But before your family celebrates this year, make sure everyone knows about fireworks safety.

Read More: Hudson Valley's 4th of July Celebrations

KidsHealth.org, the number one website devoted to children’s health and parenting, offers these 8 safety tips to ensure your family’s holiday is a blast:

1. Do not let children play with fireworks. Firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are very dangerous. If your teens want to use sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from their face, clothing, and hair.

2. Buy only legal fireworks and store them in a cool, dry place. If your fireworks don't list the manufacturer’s name or have an instruction label, they're probably illegal. Illegal fireworks usually go by the names M-80, M100, blockbuster, or quarter pounder.

3. Never try to make your own fireworks. Buy ready-made fireworks rather than making your own, even from a kit.

4. Choose fireworks that are appropriate for the area. Avoid using rockets or other aerial fireworks in the backyard of a residential area. Choose fountain-type fireworks instead.

5. Steer clear of others. Fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket, as the friction could set them off.

6. Keep a bucket of water and a hose nearby. Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them away and keep a hose nearby in case dry leaves or other materials catch on fire.

7. Light one firework at a time and never relight a dud. If a firework doesn't appear to work, do not go over to it or attempt to relight it. Stand back and wait and then douse it with water.

8. Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed by fireworks. Keep your pet indoors to reduce the risk that it will run loose or get injured.

“The best way to prevent fireworks injuries is to attend a professional show,” says Kate Cronan, MD, medical editor for KidsHealth.org and an emergency room pediatrician at duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. 

“However, if fireworks are legal in your state, the #1 rule for parents to remember is that children should never play with fireworks or be allowed to set them off. The most common firework injuries involve the hands, fingers, eyes, head, and face – and many parents may not realize that children are at increased risk for deeper burns because their skin is thinner than adult skin.”

If an eye injury occurs, do not allow anyone to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. Do not flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention. If a burn injury occurs, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool water over the burn (do not use ice) and call your doctor immediately. 

For more information about keeping your family safe this Fourth of July, visit www.KidsHealth.org