MountainView Hospital - July 03, 2020

July is a month filled with fireworks, food and fun, and we don’t want you to cut the fun short with a visit to the ER! Make sure you know the right safety precautions to take to enjoy your weekend.

“Fireworks and grills are staples for Independence Celebrations, and a few simple steps can help keep you and your family safe this summer,” says Dr. Alexa Lewis, Sunrise Health Graduate Medical Education Consortium PGY-3 Emergency Medicine Resident.

Firework burns

In 2017, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 12,900 injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency room departments. Dr. Lewis says injuries from fireworks typically involve injuries to fingers, hands and eyes.

Many injuries happen because young children handle fireworks that people think are less powerful, such as sparklers and bottle rockets. It is not commonly known that sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000oF, which is hot enough to melt some metals!

Tips to avoid injuries and burns: Dr. Lewis advises young children should never handle fireworks, and older children should always be closely supervised.

  • Never lean over lit fireworks when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance right after lighting them.
  • If you find unexploded fireworks, do not try to relight or handle them. Wait 20 minutes, then soak them with water and throw away.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks or purchase illegal fireworks.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors.

Grill burns

Hot dogs on the grill? Perfection. Your skin sizzling from a grilling injury? Not so good.

  • Only adults should operate the grill.
  • Keep children away at a safe distance, especially when the grill is hot.
  • Use appropriate, long-handled grilling utensils that allow you to keep a safe distance from the grill.
  • Remember, even once you’re done grilling, you grill can stay hot enough to burn you for up to an hour. Wait before you move your grill after finishing your cook-out.

Sunburns

While taking precautions against sunburns may seem like extra work, but those extra steps will help prevent long-lasting damage to your skin.

  • Always wear appropriate amounts of sunscreen to avoid skin damage from UV rays, and don’t forget to re-apply frequently
  • Take a break from the sun and avoid long amounts of direct exposure
  • Shield your eyes from harmful light by using sunglasses and your favorite hat

If you find yourself or your family with true emergencies while enjoying your summer activities, do not wait to come in! The Emergency Room at MountainView Hospital and ER at Aliante are ready to asses all patients who come in and immediately provide the right resources and treatment.