Celebrating Guy Fawkes with caution

Celebrating Guy Fawkes with caution

Catherine wheels, tom thumbs, fountains, ground spinners, mines….these are the creations that will light up our skies as the 4th of November, Guy Fawkes approaches us this week.

Although loads of fun to enjoy around a braai, fireworks can bring about unwanted injuries especially serious burns and eye injuries.  Surprisingly nearly half of people injured by fireworks are bystanders, of this a third are children aged 15 years and under.

Reported statistics are that 1 in 8 fireworks injuries cause harm to the eyes, including burns, lacerations, abrasions, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage and ruptured eyeballs.

Even sparklers can burn more than 1,000 degrees hotter than the boiling point of water,  So, fireworks should not be thought of as toys.

Some helpful safety precautions when using fireworks include: 

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Respect safety barriers at fireworks shows
  • Never let children play with fireworks of any type, even sparklers.
  • Adults handling fireworks should always wear protective eyewear

Date Published: 
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