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The New York Times: Planning Your Own Fireworks? Why Families Should Take Caution

By Melinda Wenner Moyer

Florida beaches might be closed and the baseball season might be almost four months late but the one American pastime we can all count on is explosives.

Many community fireworks celebrations have been canceled to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in large gatherings. Those events still scheduled will likely be more sparsely attended. But consumer firework sales have been booming over the past few weeks and families are hungry for ways to celebrate at home, so there’s no doubt this weekend will be bright and loud and many dogs will be shaking under beds.

But before you set off your own backyard extravaganza this weekend, keep in mind that home fireworks are actually quite dangerous for kids. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2019, an estimated 2,700 children under the age of 15 were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for firework injuries — mostly around the Fourth of July weekend — with 1,100 of those happening among kids under 5.

Even so-called safe fireworks can pose problems. Take sparklers, which the American Pyrotechnics Association considers a kind of firework. “Everybody wants to get a picture of their kid holding a sparkler,” said Denise Dowd, M.D., a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. “But they cause really bad burns.”

Sparklers were the No. 1 cause of firework-related injuries in 2019, and half of those injuries were in kids under 5. Sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt glass and some metals, and they can stay hot for a long time, Dr. Dowd said.


Read the full story via The New York Times

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