According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 9,100 people sought emergency care for injuries related to fireworks in 2018. While firecrackers accounted for the most common cause of injury (19 percent), sparklers accounted for more than half of the injuries in children under the age of five. The most common injuries included burns to the hands and fingers, followed by injuries that involve the head, face, eyes and ears.
Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing. Navicent Health emergency physicians and the trauma physicians at The Medical Center, Navicent Health’s nationally verified Level I Trauma Center encourage celebrants to protect themselves and their children from firework injuries by following these tips:
- Handle and use fireworks in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and all warning labels.
- Light fireworks on smooth, flat surfaces, and aim them away from buildings, dry leaves, flammable materials and spectators.
- Do not try to relight fireworks that malfunction.
- Do not modify fireworks or use homemade fireworks.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then quickly move back.
- Do not shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container.
- Keep a phone and a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher handy and know first aid for burns.
As with any activity involving hazardous equipment, adults should actively supervise all children when they are near fireworks.
Physicians urge revelers to avoid firing guns in celebration of the holiday. Bullets returning to the ground due to celebratory gunfire can cause serious injury or even death for bystanders in the area.
If an accident or injury occurs, seek appropriate medical treatment. For emergency situations, call 911 or seek care at the nearest emergency center. Navicent Health offers emergency care at the following locations:
- Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health (888 Pine Street, Macon)
- The Medical Center, Navicent Health (770 Pine Street, Macon)
- Medical Center of Peach County (1960 Hwy 247 Connector, Byron)
- Navicent Health Baldwin (821 North Cobb Street, Milledgeville)
- Monroe County Hospital, Navicent Health Partner (88 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Forsyth)
- Putnam General Hospital, Navicent Health Partner (101 Greensboro Rd., Eatonton)
For non-life-threatening injuries, visit your nearest urgent care provider. Navicent Health provides urgent care at three Macon-Bibb County locations. Visit ExpressVisit.org to check in at a Navicent Health urgent care center before you arrive.
About Navicent Health
Navicent Health, the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia, is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Providing more than 1,000 beds and offering care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region, Navicent Health provides care for healthcare consumers’ through an academic medical center; community, pediatric and rehabilitation hospitals; urgent care centers; physician practices; diagnostic centers; home health; hospice and palliative care; and a life plan community. Navicent Health is dedicated enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally-recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. For more information, please visit www.navicenthealth.org.