COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A warning from state officials ahead of the Fourth of July — don’t play with fireworks at home.
Officials warn that doing so can result in either serious injury or even death.
Local doctors and victims who have suffered fireworks injuries discussed why you should leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals.
Dr. Sarah Denny, MD, with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, talked about some injuries children sustain from fireworks.
“The 2-year-old who’s sundress caught on fire when cousin was setting off bottle rockets and the can tipped over and the bottle rockets hit her dress,” Denny said. “The 9-month-old baby girl with burns to her face, her chest and her legs when a lot firework exploded in her lap. The 4-year-old girl who was killed by sparklers lit by her dad.”
She said most of the fireworks injuries sustained by children come from being a bystander.
“Simply being around someone who’s using fireworks places children at increase risk of injury,” Denny said. “And this really dispels that myth that it’s safe for a child to watch as long as a parent is the one handling the backyard fireworks.”
Eric Rathburn explained how mishandled fireworks quickly changed a backyard barbeque and his life.
“Broke the lens in half, the lens cut my eye and then I had surgery the following day and I was in the hospital for about two days and took about three and a half months to recover,” he said, describing the eye injury he sustained from a fireworks accident.
Experts said 62 percent of people treated for fireworks-related injuries occur during a one month period surrounding the Fourth of July.
“There’s no safe way to enjoy backyard fireworks,” Denny said. “This is the time of year we want to celebrate. So we encourage families to go to a professional fireworks display, set off by professionals.”
Denny added that bottle rockets cause 60 percent of fireworks-related eye injuries, and sparklers can burn at more than 1,000 degrees, all to easy for them to burn your skin and set clothing on fire.