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Independence Day Safety Tips

Fireworks Injuries Drastically Increase in Weeks Surrounding July 4

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 280 people per day will visit emergency rooms across the U.S. in the month surrounding Independence Day. Children younger than age 15 accounted for approximately 36 percent of those injured. The most common injuries include 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. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, if an eye injury from fireworks occurs:

Seek medical attention immediately

Do not rub or rinse the eye

Do not apply pressure or ointment to the eye

Do not remove objects from the eye

Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen, which are blood-thinning pain medications

"Many of the initial reactions a person may have when an fireworks-related eye injury occurs can do more harm than good. It is important to remain calm and seek professional help, like that offered at Atrium Health Navicent's emergency centers," said Monali Sakhalkar, M.D., ophthalmologist with Ophthalmology, Atrium Health Navicent.

Physicians at Pediatric Emergency Center, Atrium Health Navicent and Trauma Services, Atrium Health Navicent encourage parents to protect themselves and their children from firework injuries this summer. Tips include the following:

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.

If an accident or injury occurs, seek appropriate medical treatment. For emergency situations, call 911 or seek care at the nearest emergency center. Atrium Health Navicent offers emergency care at the following locations:

Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital (888 Pine Street, Macon)

The Medical Center, Navicent Health (770 Pine Street, Macon)

The Medical Center of Peach County, Atrium Health Navicent (1960 Hwy 247 Connector, Byron)

Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin (821 North Cobb Street, Milledgeville)

Monroe County Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent Partner (88 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Forsyth)

Putnam General Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent Partner (101 Greensboro Rd., Eatonton)

For non-life threatening injuries, visit your nearest urgent care provider. Atrium Health Navicent provides urgent care at three Macon-Bibb County locations. Visit www.navicenthealth.org and choose "InQuicker" to check in before you arrive.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent, 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, Atrium Health Navicent 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. Atrium Health Navicent 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.


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