Whether it's over the 4th of July weekend or throughout the summer, it's better and safer to watch fireworks than be the one responsible for lighting them up.

It should go without saying but you should never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol, you should never make your own fireworks or leave them near children.

If you are standing near or using fireworks, wear protective eye gear too and keep a bucket of water nearby just in case something happens.

All these tips and more come from RWJ-Barnabas Health and Registered Nurse Kathe Conlon who is the Director of Burn Community and Disaster Programs for the Burn Center at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

There are certain types of fireworks, that while legal, should not be given to kids.

"Sparklers, which are often given to young children, they burn anywhere between 1300 and 2500 degrees," Conlon told Townsquare Media News. "Steel melts at 2500 degrees so that's essentially what you're giving a young child to run around the yard with."

If you are shooting off fireworks at home, be smart about where you're doing so.

"You have to think of the area in which you're standing in...are you close to the house? are you under low hanging branches that could catch fire?" Conlon said.

There are inherent dangers and risks associated with fireworks thus the need for safety if you're planning to shoot them off or be near them, which should be no closer than 500-feet.

"There are two types of general injuries that we see with fireworks. One would be an explosive injury where a finger or body part can actually be partially or completely blown off and the medical concern there would be exposure to the arteries and bleeding out so you'd want to get pressure on the wound immediately and call 9-1-1 because that could be a life threatening injury," Conlon said. "The second type of injury could come from a fire that results from the firework itself. We've seen that the clothing catches fire so the person should immediately stop, drop and roll. The best thing to do for that burn injury is to cool it immediately with room temperature water onto the wound for a few minutes and call 9-1-1."

Conlon says the type of treatment for a fireworks related burn injury could also depend on how big the wound is as well.

"Any burn that's larger than the size of your hand, especially if it starts to blister, you definitely want to seek medical attention," Conlon said.

Above all, Conlon says, use common sense, be careful and be safe.


You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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