For Immediate Release, July 3, 2008
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON – “Sparklers are legal but they’re not safe” said Health Department Medical Director Donald R. Swartz, MD. Few people know the sticks, burn at a high temperature (as hot as 1800 to 3000° F), which can ignite clothing and can cause severe burns to the hands face.
Firework injuries are most commonly associated with sparklers, firecrackers and rockets. Approximately half of all people injured by fireworks in the U.S. are children ages 14 years and younger. Injuries caused by fireworks usually involve burns on the hands, fingers, eyes, head and face.
Some tips that parents can take to increase the safety of using fireworks:
- Keep fireworks away from children
- Read and follow all warnings and instructions on the package
- Be sure that others are out of the way when lighting fireworks
- Only light fireworks outdoors, away from the house, dry leaves and other flammable materials
- Never try to re-light sparklers
- Always keep a bucket of water available in case of fire
- Put used fireworks in a bucket of water and discard when cool
Fireworks that are legal in Vermont include sparklers and novelty sparkling items, smoke bombs or smoke devices, snakes and snappers. Firecrackers, bottle rockets, and other illegal fireworks are especially dangerous to children.