June 22, 2009
Sparklers 16 percent of fireworks harm
Sixteen percent of all consumer fireworks injuries are caused by sparklers burning hands and legs, a U.S. fireworks safety advocacy group says.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety says many of the injuries would not have occurred if there had been close adult supervision and if some basic safety steps had been taken. Most of the sparkler injuries involve young children.
The organization advises that:
-- Children under age 12 should not use sparklers without very close adult supervision.
-- People should always remain standing while using sparklers.
-- Adults should never hold a child in their arms while using sparklers.
-- Sparklers and bare feet can be a painful combination. Always wear closed-toe shoes when using sparklers.
-- Sparkler wire and stick remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Be sure to drop the spent sparklers directly in a bucket of water.
-- Adults should never hand a lighted sparkler to another person, Hand the sparkler off and then light it.
-- Always stand at least 6 feet from another person while using sparklers.
-- Never throw sparklers.
-- Children should be shown how to hold sparklers away from their body and at arm's length.
-- Children should be taught not to wave sparklers or to run while holding sparklers.