Doctors offer firework safety tips ahead of Fourth of July

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Austin (Nexstar) — With many public Fourth of July events canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, health professionals are warning Texans to be careful if they decide to spark fireworks on their own.

Emergency doctors are worried people might not immediately seek help if they get an injury due to COVID-19 concerns.

Dr. Nicholas Steinour, with Ascension Seton Medical Center, said treating these types of wounds are extremely time-sensitive.

“If you get an injury, please do not hesitate come in,” Steinour said. “Time is essential for recovery and treating those burns, or treating those injuries, in a timely fashion. Infection would be from an untreated wound, or a burn. Infection would be the most common thing.”

Steinour added that emergency rooms are prepared to handle anyone who walks through the doors, despite an influx of COVID-19 hospitalizations lately.

“We’ve taken full precautions, you know, we’re there. We’re working overtime for the safety of our community and have been throughout this,” he added.

To prevent injuries, doctors recommend wearing protective clothing, completely covering the skin.

“Fireproof gloves is great because hand injuries tend to be one of the most common injuries associated with fireworks, faces the other one. Shorts and a T-shirt and no gloves — and flip flops — is great for hanging outside when it’s hot. It’s not great for handling fireworks.”

It should go without saying, but the explosives should always be kept out of reach of any children.

“We need responsible adults who are not under the influence of alcohol or other drugs who are maintaining a safe distance in case the firework misfires or malfunctions, so that there’s not an injury to children,” Dr. Steinour said.

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