ER Doctor talks firework safety - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

ER Doctor talks firework safety

Michael Eearlman owns Big Bang Fireworks. (Source: WALB) Michael Eearlman owns Big Bang Fireworks. (Source: WALB)
James E. Black is an ER doctor who has seen many firework accidents. (Source: WALB) James E. Black is an ER doctor who has seen many firework accidents. (Source: WALB)
The CDC says firecrackers are one of the main causes of accidents. (Source: WALB) The CDC says firecrackers are one of the main causes of accidents. (Source: WALB)
Firework sales are skyrocketing this week. (Source: WALB) Firework sales are skyrocketing this week. (Source: WALB)
Sparklers look safe, but cause many injuries with children. (Source: WALB) Sparklers look safe, but cause many injuries with children. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Lined up on the shelves, fireworks sit in boxes right now, but this weekend lots of people will be lighting them.

The CDC says that in July an average of 230 people go to the Emergency Room for firework related injuries. 

"We had an instance a couple of years ago where a man lit a firework and it didn't go off so he went to investigate and he looked down and it shot immediately into his eye and he ended up losing his eye," said Dr. James Black,.

Dr. Black is a Phoebe ER doctor. He has seen a number of firework related injuries during his career, including superficial burns and eye injuries. 

According to the CDC 19 percent of injuries from fireworks are to eyes. 

That's why Black advises anyone handling fireworks to wear eye protection. 

"A lot of times the eye ones are irreversible," said Black. "At lot of times people want to rub their eyes and wash them out but a lot of time they cause more damage."

Parents typically buy their children sparklers, but sparklers cause a lot of firework accidents. 

"We'll hand them to our little kid to hold onto, but those things can burn at close to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit," said Black.

Firework shop owners advised people to take precautions. 

Michael Eearlman owns Big Bang Fireworks. He has told everyone that preparation is key.

"Shoot them properly and be prepared to handle it if anything goes wrong," said Eearlman.

Both Eearlman and Black said the worst injuries have come when a person lights a firework, thinks it didn't go off and leans in to check it.

"It's never a good idea to lean over any firework if you thought you lit it or if you think it's done because sometimes not every tube will go off," said Eearlman. 

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