Published 6/23/2022

It Starts with a Spark! Keep Your Bones and Joints Safe When Using Fireworks This Summer

ROSEMONT, Ill. (June 23, 2022)–Community parades and hometown Independence Day celebrations are back in full swing following cancellations due to pandemic restrictions. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is reminding Americans to celebrate safely and take caution when handling fireworks. From small-scale sparklers to larger firework displays, at-home safety measures are key to avoiding injuries to the hands, eyes and face.

“Backyard fireworks last for a moment, yet fireworks-related injuries can have long-term and sometimes devastating effects,” said Gregory G. Gallant, MD, FAAOS, orthopaedic hand surgeon and spokesperson for the AAOS. “Common fireworks, such as bottle rockets and hand sparklers, may seem tame, but the high temperatures of these devices can result in third-degree burns down to the bone or even loss of limbs. Other common fireworks injuries include fractures, traumatic amputations and soft tissue injuries. With a few simple precautions, you can stay safe this season.”

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 15,600 people required emergency room treatment in U.S. hospitals due to accidents involving fireworks in 2020, up from approximately 10,000 in 2019. By comparison, the total number of fireworks injuries recorded just over a decade earlier – in 2008 – came to about 7,000. The CPSC 2020 Annual Fireworks Safety Report found that around 66% of all annual fireworks injuries occurred between June 21 and July 21, with firecrackers and sparklers the main culprits.

Stay safe this season by following some safety tips from 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. Some sparklers can reach temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees.
  • Never handle fireworks if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

To schedule an interview with an AAOS expert about common orthopaedic hand or trauma injuries resulting from fireworks, email For additional information about fingertip injuries and amputations, visit

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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 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 to 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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Deanna Killackey 


Lauren Riley