Area hospital urges residents to stay safe this Fourth of July weekend

DOWAGIAC – From barbecues to cooling off by the pool to scenic firework shows, the Fourth of July often means a fun-filled day for families across the U.S.

However, patriotic fun can quickly take a devastating turn if proper safety precautions are not deployed.

Local physicians with Ascension Borgess want to remind individuals of firework safety precautions and what to do if an injury occurs.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 180 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.

“It’s important to be proactive about fireworks safety. We see the most burn injuries during the summer months when fireworks are being used for holidays like the Fourth of July,” said Mark Miller, medical director at Ascension Borgess Hospital. “Using common sense and taking safety precautions can help prevent tragedy on what should be a fun day for the entire family.”

Fireworks-related injuries can affect the entire family; sparklers, commonly used by children, burn at 2,000 degrees.

Miller recommended residents follow these tips for fireworks safety this Fourth of July:

  • Point fireworks away from you and occupied areas, even when they aren’t lit.
    • Do not let young children use sparklers and closely monitor older children’s use.
    • Keep a water source nearby in case of fire and accidents. Understand “stop, drop and roll.”
    • Only use legal fireworks approved for consumer use, and carefully follow manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Do not use drugs or alcohol while lighting off fireworks.
    • Never hold lit fireworks in your hands.
    • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
    • Wear protective eye-wear.

The emergency room is still the safest place to receive care for serious firework-related injuries and burns. If one experiences a firework-related injury or burn, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

For more information contact Miller at (269) 352-3636.

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