The Fourth of July weekend is upon us. While Independence Day is a cause for celebration, every year at this time thousands of firework-related injuries are reported. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, last year fireworks caused 2 deaths and almost 9,000 emergency room visits. The majority of victims were 20 and younger and in most cases a loss of limb was suffered.

Incidentally, I was just speaking to my sister-in-law about her 4th of July weekend plans and she related to me a story about a 3-year-old from her neighborhood who had gotten his hands on a lit sparkler and plunged the thing into his own eye. Through some miracle the boy didn’t lose his eye, but the event was traumatic enough that my sister-in-law is determined to keep her son–also 3–far, far away from any fireworks.

Sparklers and toddlers is just one of the safety topics covered by the CPSC in its recently released list of firework safety steps for consumers to consider. Those sparklers? They burn at temperatures near 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.

Other safety steps included in the list:

  • Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging, as this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • Take a moment to read the full list, and then get out there and have a wonderful Fourth of July!

    Credit: CPSC