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Burn risk increases with more Fourth of July fireworks at home during pandemic

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Josh Levine said the fireworks have already started in his Fort Lauderdale neighborhood. He said they are going off almost every evening.

Patricia Taime isn’t surprised. She is the owner of Fireworks Lady and Co., a wholesaler in Miami-Dade County. Demand always spikes late June and July.

For Luis Derosa, of Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Miami Burn Center, this means a spike in injuries related to fireworks.

“There were many years on Fourth of July when we had multiple children with their hands blown off,” said Derosa, a former bedside trauma and burn nurse.

Derosa fears this year there might be more injuries than usual. Since most of the public events have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the National Fire Protection Agency expects inexperienced people will be experimenting on their own.

Derosa said he is concerned about the use of sparklers, which he said have caused children’s second to third-degree hand burns. Keep them away from pets.

“Sparklers burn at 2,000-degree Fahrenheit,” Derosa said. “Very dangerous. It is almost hotter than a blow torch.”

SAFETY TIPS

  • Sober adults should light fireworks, not children.
  • Light them one at a time in a designated safe area
  • Keep spectators away and have a barrier between kids and the display since children have a tendency to get hurt during the time period.
  • Have two buckets of water nearby. One is for malfunctioning fireworks and the other for a person who gets burned. The only way to stop the burning process is water.

VIRTUAL ED FOR PARENTS


About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."