SAN ANTONIO — We are just days away from the Fourth of July and many families are already planning firework celebrations and barbecues. Fireworks can be fun, but they can also be extremely dangerous.
Here are several rules adults and children should follow:
- Teenagers should never be using fireworks without adult supervision.
- All adults and children need to keep a reasonable distance from lit fireworks.
- Do not point any firework at a person or a home.
- And similarly, don't turn any firework into an object used in a firework fight.
"That's a very dangerous situation. Unfortunately, Roman candles, fireworks have been known to blow off people's hands, take out an eye," said Jennifer Northway, Director of Adult and Pediatric Injury Prevention with University Health.
She says when it comes to sparklers, they can become very hot while burning -- Up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
But there are other safe alternatives. Northway added, "Things like red, white and blue, silly string or the confetti poppers or, you know, even cascarones right? So some other safe alternative that doesn't involve fire or heat should be used for children under the age of five."
When it comes to grilling, make sure your grill is not under a covering or trees which could cause a fire. It should be a safe distance away from a structure and not in a garage.
Keep small children at least three feet away from the grill and never spray lighter fluid on a grill or any active fire.
Northway told us, "That can actually cause the fire to come back to to arc and come back to that lighter fluid container and explode in the person's hands."
Also make sure you have all the right clothes and utensils for safe grilling.
Northway said, "You want to make sure that you have an apron, you have some silicone gloves. If you were, you know, lifting the lid to the grill, you want to have some tongs so that you're not reaching in to touch the hot food."
Northway also said always have water on hand when lighting fireworks. If the firework doesn't light, never look at it from above.
Take the water and douse the firework to ensure it doesn't go off when you aren't expecting it --- the same goes for coals on a grill to make sure those coals are no longer burning.
For more information about family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of Wear The Gown stories here.
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