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Firework Safety Tips

Independence Day is right around the corner, but it's never too early to start thinking about safety. Emergency room workers want to remind you how important safety can be.
JOPLIN, MO.--- Workers in the E.R. at Freeman Health System have experience treating injuries related to fireworks. Burns are the most common injuries workers say they see over the 4th of July holiday.

"Fireworks are very fun to watch and they're exciting, if they're managed well and proper safety is taken, they're great," said John Ezell, Assistant Director for Emergency and Trauma Services Freeman Health Center.

Fireworks are actually made to be as safe as possible. Using them correctly will prevent injuries or fires.

"the warning labels are there for a reason. Fireworks are very heavily regulated. We have lots of safety mechanisms to make sure people don't get hurt," said Steve Houser, President of Red Rhino Fireworks.

It is important to keep fireworks away from hands, face and eyes. Children should remain out of the way of fireworks and sparklers at all times.

"Sparklers are often seen as being very safe for children, but in fact, they're really not. They burn at about 2,000 degrees, which is actually warm enough to melt some metals," said Ezell. 

People should avoid putting fireworks in metal or glass containers. Never re-light a firework after it has been lit, and avoid handling the firework after it has been set off. 

"It's a good idea to have either a water hose, or a lot of water in a container close by. In case fireworks don't go off, they need to be drenched very thourghouly," he said. 

Firework experts say these simple tips will help you and your family have a fun holiday and avoid a trip to the E.R.

"We're in the fireworks business, we're about happiness and celebration, celebrating out independence. We don't want to see anyone get hurt doing that. Ya know, there's no reason to get hurt using one of these devices," said Houser. 

If you do receive and injury caused by a firework, be sure to seek medical treatment right away. 

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