Independence Day Safety Tips

Fireworks Injuries Drastically Increase in Weeks Surrounding July 4

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 230 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 35 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 Navicent Health’s emergency centers,” said Monali Sakhalkar, M.D., ophthalmologist with Ophthalmology, Navicent Health.

Physicians at Pediatric Emergency Center, Navicent Health and Trauma Services, Navicent Health 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. Navicent Health offers emergency care at the following locations:

Pediatric Emergency Center, Navicent Health (770 Pine Street, Macon)

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

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

Navicent Health Baldwin (821 North Cobb Street, Milledgeville)

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

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

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

About Navicent Health

Navicent Health was incorporated on November 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate The Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Navicent Health has 970 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s only dedicated pediatric hospital; Navicent Health Baldwin and Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health, both rural hospitals; Rehabilitation Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Navicent Health, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Navicent Health, the area’s first continuing care retirement community; Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Navicent Health; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit www.navicenthealth.org.


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