Published 6/26/2018

Stay injury free this Fourth of July

Orthopaedic surgeons offer cautionary tips to keep you safe this Independence Day

ROSEMONT, Ill. (June 26, 2018)–Hometown parades and backyard barbeques are a couple of festive ways to celebrate the Fourth of July, but fireworks seem to be the most popular ritual. While taking part in the celebratory traditions, it’s important to take precaution when near fireworks to avoid injuries to the fingers, hands, arms and even face.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2016, emergency departments, doctors’ offices and clinics treated 25,047 people for firework-related injuries.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) encourages children and adults to consider safety tips to help reduce their risk of injury.
“Taking part in fireworks may seem like a harmless Fourth of July tradition, but the injuries that can result from one night of fun can be debilitating,” says orthopaedic trauma surgeon and AAOS spokesperson Michael Suk, MD. “Consider leaving fireworks to the professionals and attend a professional firework display instead of handling fireworks yourself. If you do decide to use them, exercise caution to reduce your risk for serious injury.”
Follow these simple tips to ensure safety this Independence Day:
  • 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 for fire hazard conditions.
  • Never purchase or use illegal fireworks. Their quality cannot be assured.
  • Only adults should light fireworks.
  • Always have water handy 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 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.
More Information about the AAOS
With more than 38,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS provides educational programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal care for patients, and is the authoritative source of information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related issues. 

Visit AAOS, at: for bone and joint health news, stats, facts, images and interview requests. for inspirational patient stories, and orthopaedic surgeon tips on maintaining bone and joint health, avoiding injuries, treating musculoskeletal conditions and navigating recovery. for patient information on hundreds of orthopaedic diseases and conditions.