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Exercise Caution When Using Fireworks
06/30/2009

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Fireworks are a summer tradition, but the fun from the pyrotechnics can quickly be ruined when careless and inappropriate use of fireworks sends someone to the emergency room.

In 2006, 11 people died in the U.S. and an estimated 9,200 were treated in emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also says that more than two-thirds of all fireworks-related injuries in 2006 occurred between June 16 and July 16.

“The most common injury due to fireworks is burns to the face and hands,” said Dr. Marilyn Brister, an emergency medicine physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville. “If you or someone gets burned, it’s important to remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn.”

Eyes also can be injured by penetrating debris from a fireworks explosion, or by a flying firework like a bottle rocket. Sometimes this can lead to possible blindness.

“If an injury occurs to the eye, don’t touch it or try to put any solution in it,” Brister said. “It’s best to cover it up and come to the emergency room.”

The National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends that people:

  • Only use fireworks outdoors
  • Obey all local laws on fireworks use
  • Always have a bucket of water or a hose nearby
  • Never give fireworks to young children
  • Soak fireworks in water before throwing them away
  • Don’t consume alcohol while playing with fireworks
  • Make sure people are a safe distance away before lighting
  • Don’t wear loose clothing
  • Always read and follow instructions
  • Wear safety glasses

Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed, but you'll enjoy them much more knowing your family is educated. Take extra precautions this summer to keep everyone safe.

To learn more, visit fireworksafety.com or cpsc.gov

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville is a 98-bed acute care, full-service facility serving Erath and surrounding counties since 1926. The hospital's services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, women’s services, advanced diagnostic imaging, inpatient and outpatient physical therapy and wound care. Texas Health Stephenville, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized as a Nurse-Friendly Hospital and a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Stephenville.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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