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Experts warning about firework safety ahead of Fourth of July weekend

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Posted at 6:14 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 18:14:05-04

LANSING, Mich. — Ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, experts warn about safety when it comes to fireworks.

Last year, fireworks caused some 9,100 injuries ranging from cuts, scrapes to permanent disfigurement.

As fireworks soar sky high around the Fourth of July, so do injuries.

As the holiday approaches, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) demonstrated the power fireworks, legal and illegal.

According to the CPSC, in 2018 five people were killed and more than 9,000 were injured in fireworks-related incidents, the majority in a 30-day period around July 4.

"180 people visit our emergency rooms on a daily basis during this time because of firework injuries and deaths," Anne Marie Berkle, acting chairmen for the CPSC, said.

Those injuries include severe burns, amputation of fingers and serious eye trauma.

And it's not just airborne and explosive fireworks, sparkles burn at around 2,000 degrees.

"That's as hot as touching a coal from a burning fire. It could melt gold, silver, a host of other metals. And certainly we don't want to put those in the hands of our children," Dr. Sarah Combs, of Children's National, said.

To reduce risk, the CPSC said fireworks should be lit one at a time, ever thrown or pointed at another person, or re-lit or picked up if they fail to ignite.

Young children shouldn't be allowed to light or play with fireworks even if an adult is present.

"More than 50% of fireworks injuries in children happen in spite of parental supervision," Combs said.

Sights synonymous with the holiday... best viewed from a safe distance.

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