Hospital shares firework dos and don’ts ahead of holiday associated with busy ER

Hospital shares firework dos and don’ts ahead of holiday associated with busy ER
Source: Ochsner Health System
Source: Ochsner Health System

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Ochsner physicians are urging fireworks safety ahead of the 4th of July holiday weekend, a time that can be busy for hospital emergency rooms (ER).

  • Where you can and can't shoot off fireworks

Many people consider fireworks to be harmless fun, when in fact they can be extremely dangerous, especially when used near children and teens.

"When it comes to fireworks, remember they are explosives that require proper handling," said Ochsner primary care physician Tim Durel, M.D.


  • 16777 Medical Center Drive
  • Baton Rouge
  • Call for appointments: 225-761-5200

More than 11,000 people went to the ER in 2016 with injuries from fireworks, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Children under 15 represented nearly one-third of these injuries. A large majority of these injuries were burns involving people's hands and fingers.


  • 11,000 went to ER with injuries from fireworks
  • 1/3 of those injuries were children under 15
  • Majority involved burns on hands and fingers
  • 900 injuries from sparklers
  • 400 sparkler injuries were children under five-years-old

"Don't give children sparklers. Although sparklers may seem safe, they can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is as hot as a blowtorch."  It is estimated that there were 900 fireworks related injuries from sparklers in 2016 and 400 of those injuries occurred in children under five-years old.

In case of injury, seek immediate medical care. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an Ochsner practitioner, call 225-761-5200 or schedule your visit online.

If fireworks are legal in your area and you are putting on your own fireworks display, follow these do's and don'ts to stay safe:


  • Have knowledgeable supervision by an experienced adult.
  • Buy fireworks from reputable dealers.
  • Read fireworks labels and follow directions carefully.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby.
  • Light fireworks one at a time and move back quickly.
  • Discard fireworks as directed.


  • Never allow young children to use fireworks, including sparklers.
  • Don't consume alcohol when using fireworks.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or near other objects.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person, ever.
  • Never try to re-light fireworks that fail to ignite.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

"Viewing public fireworks displays handled by professionals is the safest way to enjoy fireworks."

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