Children ages 9 to 14 have the highest rate of injury from fireworks. Last year, about 75 Kansas children ages 14 and under were treated in emergency rooms or hospitalized for injuries involving fireworks. Many fireworks injuries are not reported.
"Teach your children what to do if their clothing catches on fire - 'stop, drop and roll' - and how to call 911 in an emergency," said Jan Stegelman, Safe Kids Kansas coordinator.
Safe Kids Kansas recommends that children not handle fireworks at all. The group also offers these precautions for adults using fireworks:
¢ Light fireworks only on smooth, flat surfaces and aim them away from buildings, flammable materials and spectators.
¢ Do not try to relight fireworks that malfunction.
¢ Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or hold them close to your face.
¢ Do not modify fireworks or use homemade fireworks.
¢ Keep a phone and water handy, and know first aid for burns. Also, keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.
¢ Finally, keep all children under active supervision - in sight and in reach at all times, with your undivided attention focused on them - when they're near fireworks.
"The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to watch them at a community event where professionals handle them," Stegelman said.