Covenant Heartbeat : Firework Dangers


A physician with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center shared advice when it comes to the Fourth of July and fireworks.

“The thing that’s hard is you take someone with a job and is hardworking, and just a split second decision playing with fireworks, and it hurts their career forever,” Dr. John Fitzwater said.

Dr. Fitzwater said burns are just one way people may be injured by fireworks.

“80% of the burns are either to the hands or to the face, and that includes the eyes. And this could even include blindness of a consequence of this,” Dr. Fitzwater said. “I don’t think a lot of people realize that’s one of the stakes of fireworks, something that seems very innocent.”

“Sparklers can get up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s hot enough to burn glass, so they’re not as safe as they seem, and they cause 10% of the injuries we know of all firework injuries, and can include blindness, so they’re not safe,” he said.

Dr. Fitzwater also gave advice on what to and not to do if you get a burn.

“Their first steps should be not to put anything on it, but to seek emergency care immediately, there’s wonderful emergency centers all throughout West Texas that know how to get people to the right treatment,” he said.
When adults use fireworks, Dr. Fitzwater said, doctors tend to see more hand injuries.
“Adult injuries tend to be different because they’re not using sparklers, they tend to use bigger, more catastrophic type of fireworks, that’s where you end up with hand injuries, particularly with people trying to light fireworks and they don’t get them off in time. I would stick to professional displays, they’re wonderful, and you have people that are trained to do it correctly,” he said.

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