Have a Fun -- But Safe -- Fourth of July
Hands, head, eyes at greatest risk for injury with at-home fireworks, expert says
By Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, July 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Your hands, fingers, head and eyes are at greatest risk for injury if you set off fireworks at home, a doctor warns.
"Fireworks are basically explosives and all are capable of causing severe injuries, but even minor injuries can cause significant functional disability when it comes to hand and eye function," Dr. John Santaniello, a trauma surgeon at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., said in a Loyola news release.
"Fireworks are not toys," he added.
Hands and fingers account for the largest number (32 percent) of reported injuries caused by fireworks, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The head and eyes account for 19 and 18 percent of reported fireworks-related injuries, respectively.
Along with the physical effects, fireworks-related injuries are costly. One study that used data from several states found that the average cost of a hospital stay related to a fireworks-related amputation of a finger, thumb or lower arm was $15,600. Total costs for all fireworks-related injuries in the study were $1.4 million.
Loyola offered these fireworks safety tips:
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers more fireworks safety tips.
SOURCE: Loyola University Medical Center, news release, June 19, 2014
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