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Safe Kids & Fireworks

June 27, 2011

Fireworks Injure more than 2,000 Kids Each Summer

Join Safe Kids of Otsego County in celebrating safety this Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a time for celebration across the country, and here in Otsego County fireworks are a crowd favorite each year. While fireworks can be fun to watch, they can also be very dangerous states Rich McCaffery, a Community Educator at Bassett Medical Center and Safe Kids of Otsego County.

In 2009, an estimated 3,432 children ages 15 and under had injuries involving fireworks with most of these injuries occurring from the middle of June until the middle of July. Children and teenagers are the most likely people to be injured as a result of consumer fireworks. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 40 percent of the people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15.

“Don’t ever let kids play with fireworks or sparklers,” “The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them at a community event where professionals handle them,” says McCaffery. Safe Kids also recommends that adults never use fireworks when children are present.

The United States Fire Administration reminds us that kids should never play with fireworks or sparklers. Sparklers can reach 2,000° Fahrenheit- hot enough to melt some metals. Do not allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.

Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing. “Teach your children how to call 911 in an emergency. Also teach them what to do if their clothing catches on fire – ‘stop, drop and roll,’” adds McCaffery.

Where permitted by law, fireworks should be handled and used in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and all warning labels and check with your local municipality for regulations.

To receive a copy of Safe Kids Summer Safety booklet (quantities available) contact Rich McCaffery at richard.mccaffery@bassett,org<mailto:richard.mccaffery,org> or 547-5256 and visit http://www.safekids.org.

Safe Kids of Otsego County works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14 and is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids of Otsego County was founded in 2000 and is led by Bassett Healthcare Network.

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