Health Department offers fireworks safety suggestions

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic
Geneseo Republic

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments' and its First Choice Healthcare Clinics’ staff notes it's that time of year again - a time for Fourth of July picnics and Independence Day celebrations. In accordance with June's designation as Fireworks Safety Month, the Department offers the following facts on fireworks safety.

RaeAnn Tucker, Director of Health Promotion with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments notes, "Malfunction and careless use of fireworks results in nearly 10,000 injuries every year. More than 65 percent of all fireworks-related injuries occur during the month around the July 4th holiday. Of those, more than half are to the hands, fingers, and eyes. The most common fireworks that cause injury are firecrackers, bottle rockets, Roman candles, fountains, and sparklers that are legal in many states."

Of special note, those most often hurt in firework accidents are children less than 15 years old. And the injuries they receive include blindings, amputations, severe burns and even death.

All fireworks should carry the message, "Use only under close adult supervision." Children cannot appreciate the dangers involved, and cannot always act correctly in case of emergency. Even the "sparkler," considered by many the ideal "safe" firework, burns at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing. Here are some other firework safety facts:

* Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

* Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

* Firework directions and warning labels should be read and heeded.

* Fireworks should be ignited only outdoors - away from houses, dry grass and bushes and other flammable materials.

* Fireworks should be lit one-at-a-time after everyone is out of the way. They should never be lit in metal or glass containers.

* Malfunctioning fireworks should not be relit or handled.

* Never experiment with fireworks, or mix anything with their contents.

* Fireworks should always be stored in a cool, dry place.

* And finally, make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

So follow these safety suggestions and declare your independence from firework injuries and mishaps. For more information visit our website at or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments and Follow Us on Twitter.