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Source: KidsHealth Medical Expert

Nothing says Fourth of July like fireworks! But before you head to the store to purchase them, be sure you know all there is to know about handling fireworks.

Why Do We Celebrate July 4 With Fireworks? - HISTORY

What Are the Dangers of Fireworks?

If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burns and eye injuries in kids and adults. Additionally, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires.

Fireworks Safety Tips

If consumer fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers can be dangerous to them. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) — hot enough to melt gold.
  • Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer’s name and directions; illegal ones are unlabeled), and store them in a cool, dry place.
  • Never try to make your own fireworks.
  • Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.
  • Before lighting a firework make sure everybody has maintained a safe distance away. They can backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even as a joke.
  • Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear eye protection, and don’t carry fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off.
  • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances.
  • Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.
  • Do not allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
  • Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.
  • Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be very frightened or stressed by the Fourth of July and other big celebrations. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.

For more information on firework safety, please visit the National Safety Council website.

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