As we approach the 4th of July, it is important to keep in mind that the use of even the smallest fireworks can result in devastating injuries. Sparklers reach temperatures over 1000 degrees and can easily burn skin or ignite clothing. Larger fireworks can fracture fingers or amputate portions of the hand. While these injuries may seem extreme, they are injuries that the Hand Therapists at the Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center commonly see in their clinics every July. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission 2020 Fireworks Annual Report, hands and fingers were the most frequently injured body parts, accounting for 30% of the injuries sustained by fireworks.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a public display conducted by professionals. But, if you choose to use fireworks, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has the following tips:
- Never allow young children to hold or ignite fireworks.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a firework device. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting the fuse, and only light one at a time.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, wait 20 minutes, and then douse them with plenty of water before discarding in a trash can.
Our team at the Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center wishes everyone a Safe and Happy 4th of July Holiday! If you do experience a hand or upper extremity injury, we are here to help!