Home Health How to treat fireworks injuries

How to treat fireworks injuries

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Fireworks are devices of ancient Chinese origin containing combustible chemicals that cause explosive or spectacular effects.They are commonly used in both developed and developing countries to celebrate festive occasions related to tradition, religion, or culture. Examples include Independence Day in the United States, Guy Fawkes’ night in Australia, Britain and New Zealand, Deewali in India, New Year in China and Italy, Prophet’s birthday in Libya, and Hari Raya festival in Malaysia.

Although one gets pleasure from fireworks, they can often cause injuries to active users and bystanders. Such injuries are common everywhere.

The injuries can be serious and even life threatening. In most cases, they occur as a result of misuse and could be prevented with reasonable care. Annually, 12 000 persons are treated in emergency departments for firework related injuries in the United States. In Italy, one to eight deaths and over 1000 injuries have been reported annually. Deaths from firework accidents are rare in Britain but each year between 30 to 40 children are admitted to hospital and 500–600 visit emergency departments.19 Likewise, about 400 people are injured in the Netherlands each year and 80% of them are males between 12 to 20 years of age.20 Most importantly, children suffer most from the private use of fireworks, whether as spectators or as active participants.21 In an attempt to prevent eye injuries, the World Health Organisation has recommend legislation to regulate the manufacture and use of fireworks worldwide

When you set things on fire as a national celebration, things happen. Nasty things, sometimes, because sometimes America can’t handle her explosive devices, even the smaller ones. Most medical associations desperately plea with people to go to professional displays rather than to venture into the world of personal fireworks. But even that can have its … drawbacks.

 

HOW DO YOU TREAT A FIREWORKS BURN?

There is nothing special or different about fireworks burns, you treat them as you would any other burn. In cases where the burn is a minor one caused by a sparkler, you can deal with it by applying cold water and then using a neat bandage dressing – not applied too tightly – to cover the burn and to allow it to heal. There may be a need to apply a healing cream, too, which may be prescribed by your doctor or be something you buy from over the counter yourself.

Where burns are worse or a more severe accident has occurred, medical professionals should be on hand at the display to help. However, even bad looking burns can be self-treated, although it is always advisable to seek professional medical help should you have any doubt or concerns.

Minor burns on hands or legs (first degree burns)

  • Rinse the burn on cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not use ice for burns. Also, placing butter, toothpaste or a slice of tomato is also not recommended.
  • Place medicated ointment to the burned area.
  • Cover the burned area with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Bring the patient to the emergency department of the hospital.
  • Tetanus shots may be needed.

Small wounds (approximately one-inch big or less) and big wounds

  • Run the wound on cool water for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • For big wounds, use alkaline soap to clean the wound.
  • Cover the burned area with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • For small wounds, bring the patient to the nearest hospital emergency department if necessary. For big wounds, bring the patient to the nearest hospital emergency department immediately.

Injured fingers

Run the fingers on cool water if the fingers are still intact. Do not apply ice to the skin.
If the fingers are amputated, attempt to look for the amputated digits and wrap in a cloth before placing in a clean plastic bag with ice. If the digits are dirty, clean in cool water.
Bring the patient to the emergency department of the hospital.

Eye injuries

To remove any residue from the fireworks, flush the eye with cool water. Do not use ice.
Do not touch or scratch the affected eye.
Using a clean cloth, cover the affected eye.
Bring the patient to the emergency department of the hospital.

 

Firework Safety

Fireworks are fun and exciting but remember they are explosives! and should be treated with care, but don’t let that put you off using them, if handled correctly you probably have more chance of hurting yourself falling down the stairs!

There are several types of firework and we have listed a glossary of these further down the page.

There are three types of firework available to the public. Category 1 – Indoor Fireworks. Category 2 – Garden Fireworks. Category 3 – Larger Garden / Display Fireworks. Here we will be discussing Category (Cat) 2 & 3 Fireworks.

Cat 2 & 3 Fireworks are essentially the same, however, Cat 2 Fireworks are suitable to use in smaller gardens and carry a minimum safety distance of 5 meters. Cat 3 Fireworks are generally larger and you need a minimum 25 meter safety distance to use these, however, we suggest even more for larger Cat 3 items, not just on safety grounds, but if you stand too close to larger fireworks you can’t appreciate them as much.

 

 

 

Reference: Firework injuires Firstaidandcprcourses

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