Dr. Raymond Wittstadt Warns Against Innocent Fireworks

Noting that even innocent sparklers contribute to severe burns, Dr. Raymond Wittstadt, a Baltimore based Orthopaedic Surgeon of the Hand said, ‘We hear often from patients with a traumatic hand injury that they’ve handled them many times before. They didn’t think it would happen to them.’ Dr. Wittstadt said, ‘People pay a very high price for this type of entertainment. It’s really best to let the professionals handle them.’

Sparklers seem very simple and innocent but are they? Sparklers can reach temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees and result in16 percent of consumer fireworks injuries. Sparklers burn hands and legs and most sparkler injuries happen to young children, according to the CPSC. Children often to dot have the proper guidance in the use of fireworks. Children younger than 12 should not use sparklers, or other fireworks, without very close adult supervision.

For those planning to continue using sparklers, the National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these safety steps for sparkler use around children:

  • Always stand at least 6 feet from another person while using sparklers.
  • Never throw sparklers.
  • Show children how to hold sparklers away from their body and at arm’s length.
  • Teach children not to wave sparklers, especially wooden stick sparklers, or run while holding sparklers.
  • Use long sparklers
  • Children under the age of 12 should not use sparklers without very close adult supervision.
  • Always remain standing while using sparklers.
  • Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers.
  • Never hold, or light, more than one sparkler at a time.
  • Sparklers and bare feet can be a painful combination. Always wear closed-toe shoes when using sparklers.
  • Never give a lighted sparkler to another person. Give them the unlit sparkler and then light it.

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