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Your Healthy Family: Avoiding injuries to children around the Fourth of July

Posted at 4:53 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 18:53:43-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Fourth of July is this Saturday and remember, do it yourself fire works are not allowed this year in El Paso County and many other counties in southern Colorado because of fire restrictions.

Every year emergency medicine officials work tirelessly to remind us all of the dangers around the Fourth of July holiday, especially when it comes to kids.

Amanda Abramczyk-Thill, injury prevention coordinator, with Chilren's Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs says, “Firework injuries are dangerous and fireworks in general should not be in the hands of children. About 3,000 thousand kids each year under the age of 15 are injured by fireworks. Even things like sparklers that you think are kind of fun, are something that can get to a temperature hot enough to melt gold. About 56% of sparkler injuries, are to children under the age of five.”

Fireworks can do more than inflict burns, says Amanda. “Things fly in their eyes and can cause damage and permanent disability.”

As for burns, they can be far worse than a minor injury that will easily heal in time. “Sometimes kids heal a little better, but often if they get scars or a disability or if they lose part of the hand it can impact their well-being and quality of life later on.”

Many of the safety hazards that come with the Fourth of July need to stay on parents' radar for months to come. “There are water dangers, and grills. If you are cooking out, make sure you have a 3-foot circumference of safety around your grill so kids can’t go up and touch it, or trip into it.”

Water dangers extend past swimming pools, lakes and ponds; it also applies to large buckets of water you may have on hand around a grill or fireworks. “Children one and younger can drown in just a few inches of water, and if they fall in their heads are so large they sometimes can’t get out.”