JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. — People are gearing up for a busy 4th of July weekend and for many, that involves fireworks.
Dr. Jamie Kondis, Washington University pediatric emergency medicine physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, said it’s important to keep kids away from fireworks at home or at least have adults supervising.
Dr. Kondis said most of the injuries they see can be prevented by an adult being there.
She said last year there were more than 12,000 injuries from fireworks and about a third of those were children.
“Even the sparklers which people think are pretty benign are dangerous. The tip of the sparkler gets up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit so they can cause some pretty severe burns. Definitely don't let kids be handling the explosive things like the bottle rockets. That's where we see our most severe injuries,” Dr. Kondis said.
Dr. Kondis said every year they see 10 to 15 kids with serious injuries from fireworks.
Something Maggie Nash said they avoid at her home by keeping them away from the kids and having water and fire extinguishers on hand.
“We make sure to keep it in the middle of our yard far away from any trees or plants as well as on our driveway so it’s not on the grass that can catch on fire as well,” Nash said.
They also try to stay away from the biggest fireworks and leave that up to the professionals.
“Make sure that there are no loud noises or reports on all of them. We try to do smaller ones, nothing higher than myself pretty much,” Nash said.
Even at professional shows, it’s a good idea to stay at least 500 feet away from where they’re being set off.
“The firework shows get up to 150 decibels, which is considered an unsafe level for kids. That can actually rupture their eardrums and cause permanent damage. So if you're going to be close to them, make sure that the kids have some kind of ear protection on,” Dr. Kondis said.
Just a few other holiday safety things to mention, if you're going out on a boat make sure everyone is wearing a life vest and keep an eye on kids wherever they're swimming.
Dr. Kondis recommends being an arm's length away from kids at all times on the water.