Sparklers: Aesthetic, but harmful
Sparklers create a glimmer of instant beauty every Fourth of July. However, these artistic fireworks can quickly turn hazardous in a matter of seconds.
“Many people don’t view sparklers as being particularly ‘dangerous’, but they actually account for the majority of firework burns. Most of these injuries occur in children,” says Dr. Michael Cirone, emergency medicine physician at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. “Even with close supervision, sparklers aren’t safe for children, so I would encourage parents to try alternatives like glow sticks, bubbles, etc.”
For those who choose to use sparklers at their celebrations, Dr. Cirone recommends never waving or running with them, avoiding use after consuming alcohol, and if possible, wearing goggles and gloves and keeping water nearby.
Dr. Cirone also offers advice on what to do if you become injured from a sparkler:
- Seek medical care unless the burn is minor. A minor burn is something smaller than a silver dollar and superficial without skin break down, similar to a sunburn.
- Even if it is minor, seek medical care if the burn involves a sensitive area like the hands, feet, genitals, face or eyes.
- For minor burns, rinse with cold water, then clean daily with gentle soap and water, covering it with a dry gauze.
Check out these five tips to stay safe around sparklers, while celebrating America’s birthday:
About the Author
Kelsey Andeway, health e-news contributor, is a public affairs intern at Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove. She is a senior at Loyola University Chicago earning a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Dance. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys dancing, baking, and taking long walks with her Chocolate Lab.