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NHM Health Focus:
Fireworks Safety

June 2009

Fireworks Safety logo   

Fireworks Safety Tips:

  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks

  • Read and follow all warnings and instructions

  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

  • Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.

  • Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned.

  • Keep a bucket of water in case of a malfunction or fire.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

June is Fireworks Safety Month.

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) reports that "All fireworks are dangerous, especially to children. In 2005, an estimated 10,800 people were treated in U.S. emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries. During the month around Independence Day, children 14 years and younger sustained about 45% of injuries related to fireworks. Typically, almost two thirds of injuries from fireworks in the United States occur in the month surrounding the July 4th holiday." (NCIPC)

The following organizations and government agencies have produced resources with information and activities aimed at preventing deaths and injuries from fireworks.

  • The National Institute on Deaf and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) has resources for parents and teachers.

  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has posted a list of Fireworks Safety Promotion Ideas

  • National Commission on Fireworks Safety (NCFS) home page features a fireworks safety video that shows how to choose, plan, conduct, protect and cleanup consumer fireworks.

  • Fireworks Fun from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Kid's Pages features an interactive Periodic Table from which you can learn which chemical elements are important in the manufacture of fireworks and create safe fireworks displays on your computer screen.

Prevent Blindness America warns that there is no safe way for nonprofessionals to use fireworks. It is only safe to enjoy the splendor and excitement of fireworks at a professional display. If there is an accident, following these six steps can help save the victim's sight.

The fireworks safety resources on Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum Health (AE @ NHM) include:

Health Headquarters: Question of the Week - Pay Attention
Health Headquarters: Question of the Week - How Is Your Hearing?

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