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Katy, TX News (July 1, 2014) – With Independence Day just around the corner, the Emergency Department at CHI St. Luke’s Health – The Vintage Hospital urges everyone to practice safe and responsible use of fireworks. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 8,700 firework-related injuries were treated in emergency departments in 2012.

“Fireworks create a great risk for injury,” says Dr. Darrell Calderon, Section Chief, Emergency Department at CHI St. Luke’s Health – The Vintage Hospital. “Most injuries include burns on fingers, hands and legs, and eye and face injuries.”

The CPSC suggests the following safety steps:

  • Make sure the fireworks you want to buy are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals. Always have an adult closely supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks. Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly. Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.

“It is important for us to keep our community out of our Emergency Room,” said Dr. Calderon. “Our hope is that everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July without any incidents,” he concluded.