America’s doctors are warning that the use of sparklers on the Fourth of July is just too darn dangerous for your children.
To avoid the risk of injury, you should give your kids bubbles, glow sticks and pom-poms to play with this Independence Day. Those things are safer and almost just as fun.
Sparkler injuries lead to 1,900 emergency visits each year in the United States (pop.: 321.4 million), according to Providence, Rhode Island NBC affiliate WJAR.
“They’re actually not so benign,” Dina Burstein of the Injury Prevention Center at Rhode Island Hospital told WJAR. “And I think what people don’t realize is that they actually burn at a very high temperature — up to 2,000 degrees — so that’s the equivalent of what a blow torch would be at.”
Not very surprisingly, the most typical sparkler injuries are burns, Burstein added — “very commonly to the hands, often to the face, injuries to the eyes.”
The doctor helpfully suggests using “things like pom-poms and glow sticks” instead of sparklers to celebrate America’s independence. Bubbles and noisemakers are other good substitutes, Burstein said.
Meanwhile, down in Texas, a nurse in Corpus Christi is advising parents to supervise kids closely when the kids are holding sparklers.
“Take it seriously,” Corpus Christi Medical Center trauma center manager Jennifer Carr told local NBC affiliate KRIS-TV.
“Realize that fireworks can cause injuries, and always have adult supervision even with sparklers. Children need to be supervised,” Carr also advised. “Sparklers can reach a temperature of 2000 degrees and so we see lots of injuries of children with fireworks. A lot of those is because of lack of adult supervision.”
Carr said no child under the age of 10 should ever hold a lit sparkler or any other firework.
Burstein, the Rhode Island doctor, claimed that “children who account for most of the fireworks injuries.”
“Children under 15 account for 26 percent of the estimated number of fireworks injuries,” she told WJAR.
As an aside, if kids under 15 account for 26 percent of all fireworks injuries, it necessarily means that people who are 15 and older account for 74 percent of all fireworks injuries.
Corpus Christi’s NBC affiliate also advises America to soak all fireworks after use and to avoid using bottle rockets in the middle of the woods.