Avera Medical Minute AMcK: staying safe while you celebrate the - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute AMcK: staying safe while you celebrate the Fourth

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They always bring out the "oohs!" and "ahhs!" but what you probably don't hear about are "ouches!" and "owws!" that fireworks are responsible for.

"Around the eyes what we will frequently see is eyelid burns, thankfully the eyelids will shut sometimes when something is coming at them but then burns on the surface of the eye and unfortunately you can see penetrating injuries where the eye is broken open and that's not a good thing." Said  Dr. Michael Griess Ophthalmologist with the Avera Medical Group Ophthalmology.

Dr. Griess says every June and July the number of firework related injuries tend to rise like a bottle rocket. Even with the best treatment Dr. Griess says one in six firework injuries will result in permanent vision loss and those remaining injuries aren't just a little singe on the skin.

"We will see more extensive injuries with the larger fireworks that can result in amputations of fingers or limbs sometimes will see a lot of facial injuries as well with regards to exploding fireworks that go in the direction that they aren't anticipated to go." Said Dr. Jared Friedman an Emergency Physician at Avera McKennan.

Dr. Friedman says in the month surrounding the fourth an average of 200 accidents happen every day across the United States. Now, no one wants to spend Independence Day in the ER and simply following the instructions could help prevent that trip from happening.

"Using common sense is a big thing and certainly not allowing young children to light fireworks at all is the safest thing for them and when the teenagers are older children want to light fireworks just make sure they have the appropriate supervision and they're actually doing the right thing." Said Dr. Friedman.

Even with supervision fireworks can be unpredictable. Sparklers, which burn close to 2000 degrees, and bottle rockets account for almost half of the injuries to kids. Age doesn't make adults any safer when it comes to lighting fireworks, but there are a few tips to help prevent the celebration from turning into a tragedy.

"Putting the fireworks on cement or on boards so they are not sitting on loose gravel or on the grass where they can easily tip over once they get ignited would be one simple step that you can do to keep fireworks more safe." Said Dr. Friedman.

"Don't try to light a dud that didn't go off, don't hold fireworks in your hands as the fuse goes down some of those basic situations and basic common sense should be used." Said Dr. Griess.

Even with all the precautions accidents can still happen. Now the message is not "fireworks are evil" but they should be handled correctly and when you're dealing with the big guns it's best to leave those to the pros, so the bombs truly burst in the air not in your face.

While you take extra care to stay safe, you should also follow the law. All fireworks other than Sparklers or "Pop-its" are still illegal in the Sioux Falls city limits. For more information about firework safety just call 877-AT-AVERA.

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