Fireworks can be dangerous - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fireworks can be dangerous

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July 3, 2006

Albany -- Unfortunately, injuries from backyard fireworks are becoming more common.

Last year, an estimated 10,800 children and adults were treated for fireworks injuries. That's up a thousand from the year before. Between 1990 and 2003 roughly 85,800 children under 19 were treated in emergency rooms for burns and other fireworks injuries.

That's why doctors say if children are going to have these in their backyard, parents should supervise to lessen the potential for injuries. Parents should also be ready in case something goes wrong.    

Fireworks can be a lot of fun on the Fourth of July, but they can also be dangerous.   For those who are planning to allow fireworks like sparklers and other back yard fun, they should be handled by an adult and carefully.

Loud explosions too close to your face or head could damage your ears.  "Depending on how severe it is, one could actually have a ruptured ear drum, with some little bleeding," says Palmyra E.R. Dr. Adebowale Obaitan. "One might have symptoms such as ringing in the ears, difficulty hearing, headaches, nausea, if the symptoms are persistent and severe a person should probably see their physician."

Sparklers and bottle rockets can also cause burns if not handled properly. "You might see some a little bit of redness, and a lot of pain because the nerves are significantly irritated, if one sees blistering obvious sloughing of skin or cuts then they should probably seek medical attention," said Dr.  Obaitan.

Doctors say burns should be treated delicately and not with ice or home remedies like mayonnaise or butter. "Try remedies like running cool water over the wound and that will help reduce the thermal injury to the local area," said Dr.  Obaitan.

First aid cream is also a good idea for slight burns with redness. Doctors also encourage protective eye gear to avoid eye injuries and say if the injuries are severe a trip to the emergency room may be just what the doctor ordered.

"Well, we maintian an awareness for this type of thing, especially at this time of year," said Dr.  Obaitan.

Emergency Rooms here in south Georgia say they haven't seen any severe injuries yet, but expect tonight and tomorrow night to be the big nights for fireworks and say they're ready to deal with the injuries that come with them.  

Sadly, fireworks-related injuries killed 36 people in the last five years. Two teens were among the four deaths last year.  

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