Safe Kids Kansas Offers Fourth of July Safety Tips

TOPEKA, Kan. - According to Safe Kids Kansas, in the last two years, at least 136 Kansas children ages 14 and under were treated in emergency rooms or hospitalized for injuries involving fireworks during the fireworks season, June 27 - July 13 (with 60 percent of Kansas
hospitals reporting).

More than half of the injuries occur on July 4. Unfortunately, many fireworks injuries are not reported.

"Don't let kids play with fireworks, period. Fourth of July celebrations
and exciting and fun - you don't want to spend it at the emergency room," says Jan Stegelman, Safe Kids Kansas coordinator. "Fireworks are intended for use by adults in open spaces, with plenty of active supervision for every child present."

Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing.

"Teach your children what to do if their clothing catches on fire - stop, drop and roll - and how to call 911 in an emergency," says Stegelman.

Consumer (Class C) fireworks are legal in the state of Kansas with the
exception of bottle rockets. However, many Kansas counties and cities have ordinances that are stricter than the state law. Where permitted by law, fireworks should be handled and used in strict accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and all warning labels.

In addition, Safe Kids Kansas recommends these precautions for adults using fireworks:

Light fireworks only on smooth, flat surfaces and aim them away from
buildings, dry leaves, flammable materials and spectators.

Do not try to relight fireworks that malfunction.

Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or hold them close to your face.

Do not modify fireworks or use homemade fireworks.

Keep a phone and water handy, and know first aid for burns. Also, keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.

Finally, as in any activity involving hazardous equipment, keep all
children under active supervision - in sight and in reach at all times,
with your undivided attention focused on them - when they're near
fireworks.

"The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them at a
community event where professionals handle them," says Stegelman.

For more information about fireworks safety and burn prevention, visit
www.usa.safekids.org.


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