Today we celebrate our independence. Tonight, some will suffer for it. Injuries from fireworks account for eleven thousand ER visits every year. Most involve the hands and fingers, but one out of five are eye injuries. The vast majority of injuries are caused by misuse of the fireworks – throwing them or pointing them at someone – or by the tipping over of a projectile before it fires. Sparklers burn at over twelve hundred degrees!
What to do: Professional shows are the safest. If you are determined to do it yourself, be smart about it. Safety glasses are cheap insurance for valuable eyesight. Set up a stable launch base, waist high, instead of hovering over the nose of a roman candle teetering on the ground or grass. Keep a bucket of water nearby for damage control and disposal. Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. Celebrate after the show. Remember your pets! Keep them indoors if possible.
Thought for the day: A patriotic Texan should know how to set it up right when they put on a show.
What’s Going Around is contributed by family practice doctor Kyle Scarborough, M.D. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.