• Mayo Clinic Minute

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Fireworks safety tips

For many, the Fourth of July holiday is a time to celebrate with barbecues, parades and fireworks. But, experts say, when it comes to fireworks, it's best to leave it to the professionals.

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Every year, thousands of people are admitted into emergency departments across the country because of injuries caused by fireworks.

"We'll see injuries to fingers or the whole hand. Another common injury is burns. And sometimes we'll see eye injuries because of the sparks that fly into the eye," says Dr. Neha Raukar, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician.

If consumer fireworks are legal where you live, here are a few tips from the National Safety Council:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks.
  • Always have adult supervision.
  • Wear protective eyewear.
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands.
  • Don't point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Only light one firework at a time.
  • Watch them from a safe distance.

"If you're going to have some fireworks, don't be drinking at the same time. Have the person who is not drinking be the one to light the fireworks. Stay away from them once you light them, and just be aware of your surroundings," says Dr. Raukar. "I don't want to meet you here in the emergency department."