Celebrate Our Nation’s Independence with Safety in Mind

6/22/2012

Media Contact(s):
Lori Eberenz
Phone: 502-589-7711

Louisville, Ky.—The Fourth of July is often celebrated with dazzling displays of fireworks, but emergency physicians  with Jewish Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health, encourage individuals to take precautions to stay safe while enjoying Independence Day.  According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2010 more than 8,500 people were treated in emergency rooms for firework-related injuries.

Not surprisingly, most injuries caused by fireworks take place in the weeks surrounding July 4. Hands, eyes, the head, face and ears are the most frequently harmed body parts, and more than half of the recorded injuries are burns. 

“Each year, we treat patients with a variety of firework-related injuries—many of which are avoidable with the proper precautions,” said Jason Nelson, MD, a Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare emergency department physician.

Parents often think that sparklers are safe fireworks for young children to use, but even these can reach temperatures of over 1,000° F, hot enough to cause serious burns and injuries.  The NFPA reports that sparklers alone account for more than 30 percent of firework-related emergency room visits.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends these tips when utilizing fireworks:

- Only use fireworks outdoors
- Store fireworks in dry, cool places
- Obey your local laws
- Have water available in a bucket or hose in case of fire
- Never relight a defective firework
- Fireworks should not be used when drinking alcohol
- Adult supervision is needed for children under 16
- Do not attempt to use homemade fireworks
- Do no place any part of your body directly over a firework when lighting it, this includes holding a  firework
-Always use common sense when operating fireworks

In addition, Dr. Nelson recommends wearing eye protection and keeping spectators a safe distance away from fireworks.

“The best bet is always to enjoy fireworks from a safe distance,” said Dr. Nelson. “Professional firework displays can be seen throughout the area and offer a much safer experience without losing the thrill.”

In the incidence of firework mishaps, seek medical attention immediately.  KentuckyOne Health has seven emergency facilities in the Kentuckiana area. 

In the case of less serious injuries, you can access ER wait times to find the fastest care near you.  You can text ERWAIT to 511511 for details.   In case of a medical emergency, always call 9-1-1.

About Jewish Hospital
Jewish Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health, is an internationally renowned high-tech tertiary referral center developing leading-edge advancements in hand and microsurgery, heart and lung care, cancer care, home care, rehab medicine, sports medicine, orthopaedics, neuroscience, occupational health, organ transplantation and outpatient and primary care.  Site of the world’s first successful hand transplant, the world’s first and second successful AbioCor® Implantable Replacement Heart procedures, and world’s first trial of cardiac stem cells in chronic heart failure, the hospital is in the select group that performs heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation.

About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System.

The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has nearly 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies, with more than 13,600 employees across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana.

KentuckyOne Health is the largest health system in Kentucky and has more than 2,325 licensed beds. 
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200 Abraham Flexner Way•Louisville, KY•40202

Last Updated: 9/6/2013