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Fireworks injuries are up 25% over the past 15 years. A pediatric ER doc weighs in on safety

Sarah Gantz, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in News & Features

Less common but extremely concerning, Reingold said, are eye injuries due to fireworks — for instance, if a spark gets in the eye.

“It’s a combination of all the worst things for your eyes: heat, projectile, chemical,” he said.

Another fireworks danger families often overlook: noise injuries.

Families with infants and toddlers, who are more sensitive to loud noises because their ear canals are smaller, should be especially careful to keep at least 500 feet away from fireworks, Reingold said.

“It’s not really what you think of when you think about fireworks safety,” Reingold said, but some fireworks can explode at 150 decibels, which can cause some degree of hearing loss if you’re close enough.

Professional fireworks displays are a safer alternative to backyard shows, he said.


Some other tips from CHOP for staying safe:

— Know what types of fireworks are legal where you live.

— Have an outdoor hose or bucket of water on hand in case of a fire. Douse used fireworks thoroughly before throwing them away.

— Choose a dry, flat surface to light fireworks one at a time.

— Don’t try to relight fireworks that haven’t gone off.

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