MUSC Health is committed to building healthy communities throughout the Lowcounty. This Fourth of July, keep yourself, your family, and your community healthy by staying safe around fireworks. Fireworks are a beautiful way to celebrate the season, but can be very dangerous. 

Did you know?

  • The hand is the most common site of injury caused by fireworks and accounts for approximately 36% of all injuries.*
  • The face and eyes each account for almost 20% of injuries.*
  • And more than 50% of all firework injuries are from burns exclusively or burns combined with blast injuries.*
  • Children under five using sparklers and other “safer” options accounted for more than 40% of the fireworks-related injuries in 2013.*
  • In 2015, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 51% of those injuries were to the extremities and 41% were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for one-quarter (26%) of the estimated 2015 injuries.**

*Data attributed to The Huffington Post (July 2, 2017) https://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-kontrick/july-fourth-holiday-is-one-of-the-deadliest-holiday-weekends----but-it-doesnt-have-to-be_b_10761002.html

**Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2015 Fireworks Annual Report by Yongling Tu.

Tips on How to Reduce Fireworks Injury

  • Always make sure to have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher in close proximity of fireworks.
  • If a firework does not go off or will not light, do not investigate the problem or stand close to it. Dose the firework with water immediately. Do not pick it up or stand over it. NEVER relight a dud.
  • Always stand several feet away from lit fireworks and never light fireworks indoors.
  • Avoid lighting fireworks near dry grass and always point them away from homes, other people, brush, leaves, etc.
  • Never hold a lit firework in your hand or attempt to set a firework off while holding it.
  • When handling fireworks, do not wear flammable materials or loose clothing.
  • Do not smoke or use flammable gases near fireworks.
  • Do not drink alcohol or be under the influence while lighting fireworks.
  • Wear safety glasses or goggles when shooting fireworks.
  • Children should be closely supervised around fireworks at all times. Even sparklers can pose a danger to young children if not handled properly.
  • If you do handle fireworks, make sure that you use only legal fireworks. A good deal of today’s injuries is still caused by fireworks that have been outlawed. Check the labels and make sure to store all fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • The best way to prevent firework injuries this Fourth of July is to leave it to the professionals. Take your family to a public fireworks display and just enjoy the show!

If you receive an injury while handling fireworks this Fourth of July season, please remember the following:

  • Go immediately to the doctor or a hospital.
  • If there is an eye injury, do not rub or touch the eye area in order to minimize additional damage. Do not flush the eye out with water.
  • If there is a serious burn, call your doctor immediately and remove any clothing from the burned area.
  • For bleeding, apply pressure to control and go to your nearest emergency room or call 911.
  • For minor burns:
    • Cool the burn by running it under cool tap water or apply a cool compress
    • Remove rings or other tight jewelry from the injured extremity
    • Apply antibiotic ointment to any open wounds or ruptured blisters
    • Apply a loose nonstick sterile bandage or band aid.
    • Wash the wound with mild soap daily, and reapply antibiotic ointment and bandage
    • Take over the counter anti-inflammatory medications as directed until pain subsides, but consult with your doctor before starting any new medication
    • Seek medical attention for large burns, worsening swelling or pain, signs of inflection or any other concerns

Schedule Your Appointment at MUSC Health

For non-emergency appointments, talk with one of our many providers, including at the Musculoskeletal Institute and the Storm Eye Institute, to learn more about how to protect yourself and your family. Find a doctor near you with multiple locations throughout the Lowcountry!