Published 6/27/2019

Safely sparkle this Fourth of July

Orthopaedic surgeons offer firework safety tips

ROSEMONT, Ill. (June 27, 2019) — Red, white and blue, picnics and parades. Independence Day is celebrated in many festive ways, but fireworks seem to be one of the more popular traditions among Americans. If looking to take part in this widespread activity, remember it’s important to take precaution when near fireworks to avoid injuries to the hands, eyes and face.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2018, emergency departments, doctors’ offices and clinics treated 19,730 people for firework-related injuries.
“Fireworks are unpredictable and may lead to serious musculoskeletal injuries,” states Dolf Ichtertz, MD, orthopaedic surgeon specializing in hand and wrist and spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). “Setting off fireworks on your own or lighting sparklers with your family and friends may seem harmless, but hand injuries are way too common.”
Stay safe this holiday by following some safety tips from orthopaedic surgeons and the AAOS:

  • Check with your local police department to determine if fireworks are legal in your area. If so, find out which types, and verify that there is not a burn ban in effect in your community that might create hazardous fire conditions.
  • Never purchase or use illegal fireworks. Their quality cannot be assured.
  • Only adults should light fireworks.
  • Always have water close by in case of a fire, such as a hose hooked to a faucet or a nearby bucket of water.
  • Wear safety eyewear when using fireworks.
  • Soak used fireworks in water before discarding to prevent setting unintentional fires.
  • Never try to relight a firework.
  • If you are injured using fireworks, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Never allow young children to play with or go near fireworks, including sparklers. They seem harmless but sparklers can reach temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees.
  • Never handle fireworks if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

About the AAOS
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS is the trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal health. It provides the highest quality, most comprehensive education to help orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals at every career level best treat patients in their daily practices. The AAOS is the source for information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related musculoskeletal health care issues and it leads the health care discussion on advancing quality.

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Contact AAOS Media Relations 

Deanna Killackey 


Lauren Riley