Louisiana has a great tradition for popping off fireworks. However, whether it is going to a big display put on by professionals, or friends or neighbors having fun in the street or yard, it is essential to be safe as we go into the July 4th holiday.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, severe burns and catastrophic injuries are more common than one expects with 12,900 firework-related injuries treated in an ER in 2017 (the most recent data available). There were seven deaths attributed to fireworks and an estimated 7% of the injuries were severe enough that the injured were admitted or transferred to a hospital. Adults between 20 and 24 years of age were the most likely to be injured; the second most common group were children under age 5.
There are certain commonsense measures that can improve safety:
- Do not allow young children to ignite fireworks
- Always have adult supervision
- Do not buy illegal fireworks
- Follow all local laws regarding fireworks
- Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of fire or mishap
- Establish a safe perimeter for onlookers
- Avoid alcohol or drug consumption when using fireworks
Those severely injured may need legal representation
An estimated 67% of injuries occur in the month around the July 4th holiday. It is most common for the person popping of the fireworks to injure themselves, but innocent bystanders can be hurt as well, sometimes severely. Victims or their families may need to get help from an experienced personal injury attorney, particularly in cases involving severe burns or damage to the body.