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Avoiding Fireworks-Related Injuries

Time for a reminder about safe fireworks use. This Daily News article by Lauren Johnston — Doctors replace woman’s missing thumb with big toe transplant –- shows and tells you why. An excerpt:

A Long Island woman’s big toe will adapt to function as a thumb after doctors performed a rare transplant operation to replace the vital missing digit.

Shannon Elliott, 25, lost the thumb and two fingers from her left hand in November when a firework exploded in her palm…

Have a safe and happy July 4th — and stay out of the ER. Please follow these fireworks safety tips:

  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
  • Fireworks should be unpacked from any paper packing out-of-doors and away from any open flames.
  • Be sure other people are out-of-range before lighting fireworks. Small children should be kept a safe distance from the fireworks; older children that use fireworks need to be carefully supervised.
  • Do not smoke when handling any type of “live” firecracker, rocket, or aerial display.
  • Keep all fireworks away from any flammable liquids, dry grassy areas, or open bonfires.
  • Keep a bucket of water or working garden hose nearby in case of a malfunction or fire.
  • Take note of any sudden wind change that could cause sparks or debris to fall on a car, house, or person.
  • Never attempt to pick up and relight a “fizzled” firework device that has failed to light or “go off”
  • Do not use any aluminum or metal soda/beer can or glass bottle to stage or hold fireworks before lighting.
  • Do not use any tightly closed container for these lighted devices to add to the exploding effect or to increase noise.
  • Never attempt to make your own exploding device from raw gunpowder or similar flammable substance. The results are too unpredictable.
  • Never use mail-order fireworks kits. These do-it-yourself kits are simply unsafe.

For more information on injuries that can occur from unsafe use of fireworks, see:

Fireworks-Related Injuries (CDC)

Facts About Fireworks Injuries (Prevent Blindness America)

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

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