What to do if ... you get a firework burn

With July 4 coming, so is the possibility for firework-related burn injuries. Here are a few tips on what to do, and what not to do, when it comes to fireworks, according to Apryl McGill, RN, Utica Park Clinic outpatient burn nurse.

If a burn does occur:

  • Cool the burn with cool, not cold, water to stop the burning process. Cold water and ice are never a good idea, as they both can deepen the burn injury. 
  • Remove all clothing and jewelry from the injured area. 
  • Cover the area with a clean, dry sheet or loose bandage. 
  • Seek medical attention immediately. 

How to prevent firework burn injuries:

  • Consider safer alternatives such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers. 
  • Observe your local and state firework laws. 
  • Have a designated sober adult light all legal fireworks. 
  • Keep children and other observers at a safe distance – behind a protective barrier. 
  • Store fireworks out of reach of children.
  • Keep a bucket of water close for disposal of fireworks. 

What not to do:

  • Allow children to handle fireworks – including sparkers and smoke bombs. 
  • Attempt to alter, modify or relight fireworks.
  • Allow children to pick up the spent fireworks as some may still be active. 
  • Hold lit fireworks in your hands. 
  • Consume alcohol or drugs with lighting fireworks.
  • Forget you can be held legally and financially liable for firework injuries.