Stay safe during Fourth of July with these tips

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 4, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 4 at 6:42 PM

Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

NEW ORLEANS -- Sparklers can burn at 1,800 degrees, enough to melt gold. Yet sometimes people forget that the bright colors and entertainment of fireworks can do serious damage.

Now the experts want to keep your Fourth of July safe tonight.

Independence Day means fireworks, but in the level one trauma center at LSU's University Hospital, for doctors it means a busy night.

"The most tragic things are eye injuries and burns and then even inadvertent injuries that occur when the explosion goes off. The person loses balance, might break bones, break skin, get cuts," explained Dr. Keith Van Meter, the head of Emergency Medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center. He also said gunshots and injuries from vehicles can go up.

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that flying debris from fireworks may be a bigger factor in eye injuries than the force of the blast. Doctors recommend using goggles tonight.

Here's what the trauma team says you need to do if you have an injury. If you burn your eye, don't flush it out with water and don't rub it. Cover it but never with tight gause and come to the emergency room right away.

Next, if you burn your skin, don't immerse it in ice or cold water. Use cool water then get to the E.R. And if a finger is lost, put it a zip lock plastic bag to keep it dry. Then put it in cool or icy water, never on ice, and get to the hospital right away.

At a fireworks stand in Gretna, this evening customers will become 30 deep.

"You never want to hold a firework in your hand. People hold smoke bombs, sparklers in your hand, but at some point, they all combust. If you light a fuse and it goes out, don't go try to relight it," said Keith Chiasson of Lawson's Fireworks. The dud firework should be set down so it won't go off later unexpectedly.

Chris Brown, a father of teens who was buying fireworks, agrees with Dr. Van Meter that there should always have adult supervision.

"Just monitor them (my children). Keep an eye on them. When they out there, don't leave them alone where they blowing up mail boxes and what not," he said laughing.

No matter how badly children want to do it themselves, don't let them. They don't have the mental capability to make consistent safe decisions.

"Well this is my first time getting fireworks, so I don't know who's going to light them, but I want to light them, said Loren Sholes who is only 9 years old.

Doctors say you should always have a bucket of water or hose nearby when using fireworks.

And only use them in an open area so debris won't catch houses on fire.

 

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