This Fourth of July will be the first time in many years, maybe ever, where many of us don’t congregate together to watch a firework display at the park, beach or another crowded venue. That could mean parents and children are even more inclined to do their own fireworks show. And that could mean trouble for trauma and burn centers around Miami-Dade County.
Luis DeRosa Jr., a registered nurse and the Trauma Center Clinical Outreach & Prevention Coordinator at Ryder Trauma Center and Miami Burn Center, expects an increase in burn injuries compared to last year. Based on previous years’ experience, DeRosa said that 67% of firework injuries occur from June 16 to July 16 with more than half of the injuries occurring to individuals under 20 years old. “We are in the hot zone right now!” he says. To avoid injuries that could result in permanent damage to eyes, hands and face, DeRosa recommends the following when dealing with fireworks.
- Have a designated, responsible adult light all legal fireworks
- Light one firework at a time & move away quickly
- Keep children and other observers at a safe distance – behind a protective barrier
- Store fireworks out of children’s reach
- Keep a bucket of water or have a garden hose handy for disposal of fireworks or burn care (can help stop the burning process)
- Don’t allow children to handle fireworks - including sparklers
- Don’t allow children to pick up spent fireworks ‐ some may still be active
- Don’t ever hold a lit firework in your hand