DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH NEWS
As the Independence Day holiday weekend approaches, the New Mexico Department of Health urges residents to celebrate a safe Fourth of July and to use extreme caution with fireworks.
The most recent available Department of Health data reveals in 2019, there were 21 visits to New Mexico’s emergency department due to discharge of fireworks between June 21st and July 21st in 2019.
About 10,000 fireworks-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms in the United States in 2019, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Seventy-three percent of these firework-related injuries occurred during that same June 21-July 21 time period.
The CPSC found that nationally nearly half of the fireworks-related injuries were to people younger than 20 years of age. Also nationally in 2019, 66 percent of the firework-related injuries happened among males.
Sparklers are the number one cause of firework-related injuries, which are estimated to cause over 900 injuries each year. In fact, half of reported sparkler-related injuries involved children younger than 5-years-old.
For New Mexicans who decide to purchase legal fireworks, the Department of Health and the CPSC recommend the following safety steps:
· Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.
· Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy. Always douse spent fireworks with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
· Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
· Never allow young children to play with, or ignite, fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.
· Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Always move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
· Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone.
· Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly.
For more fireworks safety tips visit www.cpsc.gov/fireworks.