MHP Urges Fireworks Safety
July is Fireworks Safety Month and Mahaska Health Partnership urges the public to celebrate Independence Day by leaving the lightshow to professionals.
“Each year, around 6,000 Americans spend their 4th of July in emergency rooms due to firework-related injuries,” MHP Emergency Services Chief Medical Officer Matt Whitis, MD, explained. “Most fire-work related injuries occur during the one-month period around Independence Day.”
It is illegal to sell, use or explode fireworks in the state of Iowa. Fireworks include firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets and roman candles. However, fireworks can be displayed if an individual, organization or association is granted a permit. Certain “novelty items” and sparklers are permitted.
“Sparklers with wire or wooden sticks are allowed in Iowa, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get hurt using them,” Whitis advises. “Extreme caution should be taken whenever fire is involved.”
According to the National Council of Fireworks Safety, careless use of fireworks causes nearly 10,000 injuries a year in the United States; close to 2,000 of those injuries are eye-related involving children under the age of 15. The council advises that only people over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any kind.
“Celebrate our nation’s heritage safely on the Fourth of July,” says Whitis. “We want you to spend the holiday with your loved ones, not in the emergency room.”