Fort Worth, Texas – This Fourth of July with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, Do It Yourself firework shows are becoming a more popular option.
However, experts say doing them at home can be dangerous.
Sharon Evans, the Trauma Injury Prevention Coordinator for Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, said with more people expected to experiment with fireworks, they are expecting more injuries than previous years.
“This year there’s kind of a worry that with all the stay at home rules, and some cities or counties canceling their fireworks that people will start doing them kind of on their own,” she said.
Each year 9,000 to 11,000 firework-related injuries are reported. One third of those injuries are children ages 15 and under.
Most are from irresponsible use of Roman candles, sparklers or fire crackers.
“The rest of the year we’re saying ‘don’t give your kids candles and matches and you don’t want to play with these’ and then you hand them this burning piece of metal,” she said.
Evans said parents should consider safer ways to enjoy the Fourth of July with their children, such as playing with silly string, or bubbles.
“Our real hope is that we can help parents understand that using glow sticks or silly string in red, white and blue would be much better,” Evans said.
However, if you do plan to light some fireworks, she said make sure the children are at a safe distance, and you never try and re-light a dud.
“A lot of times people think the firework hasn’t gone off or is a dud, and then when they go to check on it, or relight it that’s when it explodes and that’s when it is extremely dangerous because you’re close.”
The sure way to make sure your kids are safe is leaving the fireworks up to the experts.