Fourth of July Safety

By Jamie Shuster

Nothing says 4th of July here in South Carolina like grilling out and spending time with friends and family. One way people celebrate our nation’s birthday is with fireworks, and our Division of Injury and Violence Prevention is urging anyone using fireworks this holiday weekend to do so safely.

Every year thousands of people across the country are injured by improperly handling fireworks and South Carolinians are no different. In 2010 there were 182 injuries, including serious burns, contusions, and other trauma resulting in 177 people treated in hospital emergency rooms across the state.

Here are some more statistics you should know:

The risk of fireworks injury is highest among people ages 15-24.  

83% of those injured were men 

23% were under the age of 18.

With National Fireworks Safety Month running June 1 through July 4, it’s important for everyone to remember that fireworks can be very dangerous if misused. Neal Martin, health educator with the Division of Injury and Violence Prevention, offers these tips to stay safe this Independence Day:

Never give fireworks (even sparklers) to young children

Light only one firework at a time

Never relight a firework that doesn’t light after the first time

Keep spectators at a safe distance

Finally, never throw or aim fireworks at another person.

I hope your family and you have a wonderful holiday weekend, and remember one of the safest and best ways to enjoy a fireworks display is to take advantage of one happening in community!

Best regards,

Jamie

 

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