Fireworks safety tips

Article Date: Jul 2, 2013

Andrew Herd, M.D., an Emergency Medicine physician at Alegent Health Creighton Health Midlands Hospital, offers up a few tips to keep you and your family safe this Fourth of July.

At what age is it safe for children to handle fireworks?
It depends on the type of firework involved. Younger children should not use ANY projectile explosives, such as roman candles or artillery shells. If you permit your older children to handle these types of fireworks, make sure they know they MUST always have parental supervision.

How far away should spectators sit from the fireworks?
It depends on the type of fireworks. Extra precaution should always be used with projectile explosives. And always be aware of the wind when setting off fireworks – what feels like a safe distance one minute could put you in danger the next.

What are some of the common injuries you see from fireworks?
Burns and eye injuries are the most common injuries we see in our emergency department. And one of the best things you can do to avoid those types of injuries – is to NEVER hold fireworks in your hand or put them in any sort of container.

Are there any fireworks you'd suggest families avoid?
Projectiles are certainly the most dangerous type. But all fireworks have some level of risk. Parents should, of course, be very cautions when they bring young children around fireworks – as any type could lead to a serious injury if handled incorrectly.

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