"Remember, you are not only endangering your children and homes but those of your neighbors as well” says Fire Chief Dan Newburn. “Please weigh the severe risk with the benefits of a few moments of entertainment.”
During July, the emergency room has its share of visits from injured kids – broken bones from falls, cuts and abrasions from bike crashes, and bruises from playing sports. What we might not expect to see are toddlers with major burns on their faces or kids who have lost a hand or eye – all as a result of fireworks.
Families across the nation will celebrate the Fourth of July with picnics, outings to the beach and neighborhood bar-b-ques. Above all, fireworks displays will be the highlight of Fourth of July festivities.
Unfortunately, these exciting and fun festivities can quickly turn into tragedies. Every year, more than 5,000 children ages 14 and under are treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries, and children 10 to 14 account for most of these incidents. Nearly 75 percent of these injuries occur during the month surrounding the Fourth of July. Sparklers, while often considered the safest type of fireworks, join firecrackers and rockets as those causing the bulk of emergency room-treated injuries.
Many parents and caregivers over-estimate their children’s ability to handle fireworks, creating a dangerous environment for everyone involved. Fireworks-related injuries usually involve the hands/fingers, eyes or head and can sometimes result in amputations, blindness and/or even death.
“Fireworks historically have been an important part of a Fourth of July celebration for kids, yet each year hundreds of kids are permanently disfigured or worse due to burns caused by fireworks that ended up in the wrong hands, ” said Tucson Fire Department Deputy Chief Randy Ogden. “Please remember that this year it is even more important that parents set an example and not participate in illegal fireworks”.
Homemade or illegal fireworks are extremely dangerous and should never be used by your family.
Tucson Police Officers and Tucson Fire Department Fire Prevention Inspectors will be on duty during the evening hours and will actively cite individuals lighting illegal fireworks… and all fireworks are illegal within the City limits of Tucson.
The Tucson Fire Department recommends that parents take this opportunity to discuss the following with their families:
- Tell children that they should leave the area immediately if their friends are using fireworks and tell an adult.
- Discuss fire safety with your children. Teach children to “stop, drop and roll” if their clothes catch fire. Make sure they know how to call 9-1-1.
- Never place your face or any other body part over fireworks.
- Never try to re-ignite fireworks that malfunction.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.