According to the 2011 Fireworks Annual Report conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, roughly 9,600 patients were treated in U.S. hospital E.R.s for firework-related injuries in 2011.
So what should you do if you find yourself this Fourth of July with a couple singed fingers from a sparkler or rocket…and at what point do you seek professional help?
Minor burns consist of 1st degree and 2nd degree burns. An example of what a 1st degree burn would look and feel like is your typical sunburn. 2nd degree burns are accompanied by further pain, redness, swelling, blistering and peeling.
Like sunburns, minor thermal burns caused by home fireworks may be treated with first aid at home.
- For minor burns, place the affected area under cool running water or hold a cold compress to the burn for 10 minutes.
- Do NOT place ice or butter on a burn or break the skin of a blister should one form. Most minor burns will heal on their own given there is no infection; however, breaking the skin of a blister increases the risk of infection and further complications.
- An over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol, Motrin, aspirin and Aleve should help ease the pain.
As always, prevention is key. If you are planning on purchasing your own fireworks display, please use eye and ear protection as precautionary measures.
Don’t feel like possibly spending the holiday evening at the doctor’s office? Leave the spectacular light shows to the professionals and check out all of the Fourth of July events that St. Petersburg has to offer at stpetersburgnightout.com.