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Go off with a boom, but safely: hospitals prep for more firework injuries

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 6:38 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Studies show out of the known fireworks injuries last year, more were cause by little sparklers, than the big guys you might see around town. And hospitals are preparing for the injuries that come with the holiday tradition.

When it comes to choosing fireworks, you've got a lot of options.

“Artillery shells, or mortars, we see a lot of the multi-aerial cakes. Assortments have been a really big item,” Skip Playford of Wacky Wayne’s Fireworks, said. “They are coming in early and they are coming in by droves.”

But as more people shoot off fireworks at home this year, hospitals are preparing for even more injuries.

“Last year we saw about 30 fireworks injuries and we anticipate seeing more this year,” Beretta Coffman of the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s annual fireworks report shows a larger percentage of people were injured by sparklers than any other type of explosive last year.

“A sparkler, the wire after use can be extremely hot and we see a lot of people injured after the fun is over,” Coffman said.

That report also tells us, the most common injuries are to the hands and fingers. And the demographic who suffered the most? Men ages 25 to 44.

“You should have a safe zone. You don’t want tall grass, you want moist grass, you don’t want structures nearby. Most people don’t think about that,” Coffman said.

And you've probably heard you're not supposed to wear baggy clothing when setting off fireworks as well.

But, did you think about how the pandemic might pose a danger?

“I think we need to take a little bit of consideration into our masks this year,” Coffman said. “We want to make sure our mask strings are tied appropriately so they don’t catch on fire.”

All in all, there's lots of little things to think about when lighting fireworks at home

“Be cautious, fireworks can change your life,” Coffman said.

But if it's done right..

“If they follow the instructions, they can be done very safely,” Playford said.

There's no reason it can't go off with a boom.

Doctors at the burn center also recommend having one designated person to set off the fireworks. That person should stay sober, and remember children should never be around explosives.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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