facebook Eskenazi Health and Indianapolis EMS Encourages Everyone to be Careful Using Fireworks

Indianapolis, June 19, 2019 – Warm weather and traditional family get-togethers with grills cooking hot dogs and hamburgers are all representative of the summer fireworks season that so many Americans anxiously look forward to.

The Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health and Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS) urge the public not to light their own fireworks this Fourth of July.

“Some fireworks available for purchase by the general public may seem totally safe, but the most innocent mistake or malfunction with the device could lead to serious harm, so we encourage everyone to avoid them,” said Dr. Rajiv Sood, medical director of the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center. “Here at Eskenazi Health we’ve seen numerous tragic injuries due to the misuse of fireworks and we highly encourage everyone to leave lighting fireworks to the professionals.”

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately two-thirds of the 11,000 to 13,000 fireworks-related injuries reported each year happen around the July Fourth holiday from mid-June to mid-July.

The parts of the body where these injuries occur most often include the hands, face and eyes. Many times those injuries are the result of individuals carelessly playing with the devices or lighting them while holding them. Fireworks malfunctions are also to blame for numerous injuries each year. 

If you do decide to light fireworks at home, exercise extreme caution, and be sure to follow these precautions:

•             Never allow children to light or play with fireworks.

•             Avoid buying fireworks in brown paper packaging, which is a sign they are made for professional displays.

•             Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly.

•             If you are lighting fireworks, avoid wearing loose clothing that could catch fire.

•             Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case of fire.

•             Never try to relight a burned out or “dud” firework. Soak it in water, and throw it away.

•             Never take fireworks apart or modify them in any way.

Like fireworks, cooking items on a grill are customary and enjoyable aspects of Fourth of July celebrations. However, there are precautions that should be adhered to in order to make grilling a safe and pleasant experience. To keep you and your family safe, please follow these guidelines:

•             Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.

•             Grills should be located well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

•             Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.

•             Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

•             Never leave your grill unattended.

“If an unfortunate burn incident happens from grilling or using fireworks and clothes catch on fire, the best thing to do is to immediately “stop, drop and roll” on the ground,” said Dr. Dan O’Donnell, chief of IEMS. “Remove all clothing and jewelry from the burned area and apply cool (not cold) water.  Do not apply ice directly to the area as this could cause further damage.  You’ll want to cover the burn with a dry, loose bandage or sheet and seek medical attention immediately as even minor appearing burns could be serious.  If a fire has broken out and injuries are severe, be sure to call 911 immediately.”

Verified by the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association, the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health treats more than 350 inpatients each year in addition to more than 3,700 outpatient visits with patients from across the country. The Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center is regarded as one of the finest and most progressive burn centers in the United States. For more information on burn prevention, please call the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center’s burn prevention hotline at 1.866.339.BURN.

Indianapolis EMS is the largest provider of emergency pre-hospital medical care in the state, responding to over 100,000 911 calls each year. As a partnership between the City of Indianapolis, Indiana University School of Medicine, and Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, with Eskenazi Health as the supervising health system, IEMS strives to provide the best pre-hospital medical services to the community through the endless pursuit of excellence in patient-centered care, education, efficiency, efficacy, safety, and quality of service. Our mission: Right care. Every patient. Every time.

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CONTACT: Tom Surber
Phone: 317.880.4793
Cell: 317.402.9327
Pager: 317.310.5972
Email: thomas.surber@eskenazihealth.edu

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