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Life Lessons:: Fireworks safety

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 01 2013 04:00:00 AM CDT

Life lessons fireworks safety

Fourth of July is always great for summer memories but you don't want to remember the holiday for the wrong reasons.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says thousands of people end up in the hospital with injuries from fireworks every year.

Officials say if not handled properly, fireworks can cause burn and eye injuries in kids and adults.

Dr. Robert Tomsho, specializes in Emergency Medicine at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, says he has seen his share of injuries in the July holiday. "The last couple Fourth of July's I've worked, I have seen an increase in burns to the hands chest face."

Dr. Tomsho says some of the injuries are more serious.

"Occasionally depending on what the device was I have seen some blast injuries and amputations of hands, fingers."

The National Fire Protection Association say more children are likely to be injured by fireworks than adults.

The reason? Take sparklers, they burn at more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and curious kids can get into trouble.

" They can catch their hair on fire. They can have those sparks go into their face or their eyes. so even though those are legal they're not necessarily danger free," says Dr. Tomsho.

Officials say it's important to know what's legal and what isn't.

Pennsylvania State Police say basically, anything that shoots in the air requires a permit.

Things like quarter sticks and M80's are illegal.

If you decide to use legal novelty items like sparklers:
- Always read and follow instructions carefully.
- Use items outside in an open area.
- A responsible adult should supervise all activities.
- Only light one item at a time.
- Place used items in a bucket of water prior to properly disposing of them.

" I think that's the key, using products that are legal and being responsible with them. And if you do that in a safe manner, you can still have a good time, you just need to be careful," says Dr. Tomsho.

Officials say the best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home.

They say attend public fireworks displays, and leave the lighting to the professionals.