Preventing Accidental Injury.
KDHE Office of Communications
The Fourth of July is a time for celebration across the country, and here in Kansas - fireworks are a crowd favorite each year. Whether at a professional show or in the backyard, fireworks can be fun to watch – but they can also be very dangerous.
In 2007, an estimated 2,600 children ages 14 and under were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for injuries involving fireworks during the fireworks season, which runs from the middle of June until the middle of July. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 40 percent of the people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15. In Kansas, during the period of 2000-2008, there were 21 hospital discharges due to fireworks injuries among children 14 years and younger. During the months of June and July 2008, there were 13 emergency room visits for injuries due to fireworks, among children 14 years and younger. Unfortunately, many fireworks injuries are not even reported.
“Don’t ever let kids play with fireworks, period,” says Cherie Sage, State Director of Safe Kids Kansas. “They’re intended for use by adults in open spaces and children should watch from a safe distance with plenty of adult supervision to make sure they don’t get too close.”
As with any activity involving hazardous equipment, keep all children under active supervision at all times and give them your undivided attention. “The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them at a community event where professionals handle them,” says Sage.
Safe Kids Kansas recommends these precautions for adults using fireworks:
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 Sage.
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.
For more information about fireworks safety and burn prevention, contact 785-296-1223 or visit www.usa.safekids.org.
Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of over 70 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters cover Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Butler, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Geary, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Sumner, and Wilson counties, as well as the city of Emporia and the Metro Kansas City Area (Wyandotte county and several Missouri counties.) 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.
Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook.