As the community gears up for Fourth of July barbecue cook-outs and festivities, the nation’s emergency room doctors and hand and burn surgeons are prepared for an influx of patients with fireworks-related injuries.
“Our emergency room and the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital are ready to treat patients with fireworks-related injuries,” said Elizabeth Reid, Emergency Department Director. “These injuries can range from simple burns to loss of fingers, other extremities and even death.”
A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says an average of 200 people go to the emergency room in the U.S. each day with fireworks-related injuries in the 30 days surrounding the Fourth of July.
As the community prepares for Fourth of July festivities, it’s a great time to refresh fireworks safety tips to ensure you and your family experience independence from injury this holiday. By taking a few precautions, you can significantly decrease the risk of your family or friends becoming injured.
Follow these safety tips:
- Observe the law. Lighting fireworks is prohibited in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
- Never make your own fireworks.
- ‘Legal’ Fireworks labeled ‘Safe and Sane’ can still cause injury. Read and follow all warnings and instructions on packaging.
- Keep young children away from any firework activity.
- Young children should wear earmuffs to prevent any damage to the eardrum.
- Animals have sensitive ears too and can be extremely frightened or stressed by fireworks. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run away or get injured.
Peter Grossman, Medical Director for The Grossman Burn Centers, suggests an individual who sustains a burn injury should seek emergency medical care when the burn is larger than the size of the palm of a hand; when the burn is on the face, hands, feet or genitals; or when the burn is white, leathery or painless. A burn smaller than the size of the palm that has blistered should be evaluated at the Grossman Out Patient Burn Clinic (888) 676-2876.
“People seem especially laid-back about sparklers but the tip of a sparkler can heat up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit posing serious burn risks and can easily catch one’s clothes on fire,” said Dr. Grossman. “Burns can even occur after fireworks sparks and flames are gone.”
People should enjoy the season while using common sense and being safe. Injury prevention is the only cure for trauma. If you or someone you are with experiences a burn or other serious injury this holiday weekend, go to the nearest emergency room immediately. In the case of a life-threatening injury, call 9-1-1 immediately.
About Grossman Burn Centers:
Founded in 1969 by Dr. A. Richard Grossman, the Grossman Burn Center is the largest plastic surgery-based burn practice in the western United States. Headquartered in West Hills, CA, with facilities in Bakersfield, CA, and Phoenix, AZ, the Grossman Burn Center is in the midst of a national expansion and has plans to open additional burn centers throughout the country. The Grossman Burn Center is renowned for its expertise in providing acute and reconstructive burn care, rehabilitation, and post-treatment emotional and psychological support. It has received global recognition for its treatment of some of the most difficult and high-profile burn cases in the world. For more information: www.grossmanburncenter.com.
About West Hills Hospital & Medical Center:
West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is a full-service acute care facility located in West Hills, CA, in the Western San Fernando Valley. The 225-bed facility recently completed an $80-million expansion that includes a new Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Outpatient Services Unit, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, and The Grossman Burn Center. HealthGrades (a leading independent health care rating company) announced that West Hills Hospital has received the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence for 2011 & 2012, the Clinical Excellence Award for Critical Care for 2012. West Hills Hospital is also among the Top 100 Hospitals nationwide for Gastrointestinal and General Surgery. West Hills Hospital was the first Accredited Chest Pain Center in Los Angeles County, and also recently received a Certificate of Distinction as a Primary Stroke Center from the Joint Commission. For more information: www.WestHillsHospital.com.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC), 2013. http://www.cpsc.gov