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1000 SW Jackson Suite 230
Topeka, KS 66612-1274
(785) 296-1223
(785) 296-8649 (FAX)

Jan Stegelman

Executive Committee:
Randall Bolin

Dennis Cooley, MD
Medical Advisor
American Academy of
Pediatrics, Kansas

John Drees
Douglas County
SAFE KIDS Coalition

John Halbran
Kansas Safety Belt
Education Office

Jim Keating
Kansas State
Firefighters Association

Elena Nuss
Kansas State
Fire Marshal's Office

Cindy Samuelson
Kansas Hospital Association

For Immediate Release:
June 26, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Safe Kids Kansas Offers Fireworks Safety Tips

Last year, 76 Kansas children ages 14 and under were treated in emergency rooms or hospitalized for injuries involving fireworks (60 percent of hospitals reporting). Most of these injuries occur in the few days before and after the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, many fireworks injuries are not reported. Children ages 9-14 have the highest rate of injury from fireworks.

“Don’t let kids play with fireworks, period. Fourth of July celebrations and exciting and fun - you don’t want to spend it at the emergency room,” says Jan Stegelman, Safe Kids Kansas coordinator. “Fireworks are intended for use by adults in open spaces, with plenty of active supervision for every child present.”

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

Consumer (Class C) fireworks are legal in the state of Kansas with the exception of bottle rockets. However, many Kansas counties and cities have ordinances that are stricter than the state law. Where permitted by law, fireworks should be handled and used in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and all warning labels.

In addition, Safe Kids Kansas recommends these precautions for adults using fireworks:

  • Light fireworks only on smooth, flat surfaces and aim them away from buildings, dry leaves, flammable materials and spectators.
  • Do not try to relight fireworks that malfunction.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or hold them close to your face.
  • Do not modify fireworks or use homemade fireworks.
  • Keep a phone and water handy, and know first aid for burns. Also, keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.

Finally, as in any activity involving hazardous equipment, keep all children under active supervision — in sight and in reach at all times, with your undivided attention focused on them — when they’re near fireworks. “The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them at a community event where professionals handle them,” says Stegelman.

For more information about fireworks safety and burn prevention, visit

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of 67 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters are located in Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Nemaha, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Leavenworth, Norton, Pittsburg, the Wichita Area and the Metro Kansas City Area. Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide , a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. For more information visit