Jul 4, 2012 5:30 PM by Erin Steuber
Nothing quite says the Fourth of July like setting off fireworks. But setting them off the wrong way can cause serious injuries. Every year the United States ignites more than 240 million pounds of fireworks, the majority on the Fourth of July. Lafayette ER Dr. Michael Peebles says the most common injuries are to the eyes and hands.
"We've actually had people come through that have actually lost sight in one eye because of a firework injury and certainly with hand injuries we've actually seen people that have had their hand amputated because they have had such devastating injuries," said Peebles.
Peebles says the biggest danger is leaving children unsupervised. Fireworks, including sparklers, can burn in excess of 12,000 degrees so its important to stay in an open space, light them on the ground and don't point them at other people.
"You don't want to be responsible for injuring someone else, much less yourself, or setting somebody's property a flame," said Peebles.
Every firework has a set of instructions explaining how to safely handle the firework at home.
"It's great fun for all and if used properly," said Peebles. "Supervised fireworks are a lot of fun for everybody involved, but they also have certain risks and can be dangerous if they're not used properly."