Man badly burned by fireworks gives tips on how to have a safe Fourth of July

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MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (July 2, 2015) -- If the warnings of fireworks dangers from emergency workers don't get your attention, maybe they will coming from someone who was hurt by fireworks. A Martinsville man named Dale was badly burned several years ago. Now, he's sharing his his story in hopes of saving your life.

Dale says the pain from the burns he suffered three years ago were beyond anything he'd ever thought he'd feel.

"When this happened, my son was the first to get to me," Dale recalled. "I was either gonna pass out or get sick."

Dale was part of a team of people setting off a fireworks display when one of them exploded and severely burned his legs. Doctors at Wishard Hospital did skin grafts to repair the injuries. He was in the hospital for weeks before finally going home. Still, the unbearable pain continued during bandage changes.

"I mean, I had to do bandages everyday, so it was taking off, it was just like peeling your skin off," Dale said.

Doctor Kyle Roth from Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis says, "Whether it be accident or because of misadventure, we do see a number of burns particularly around this holiday."

Last year around this time, three people were admitted to the burn unit at Eskenazi Health.

Dr. Roth offers this tipsif you or someone around you gets burned: "Stop, drop and roll, extinguish the fire as quickly as possible, get any smoldering or burning clothing off of the victim."

Roth also says apply cool water to any burns, get to a hospital, or call 911.

"Leave lighting fireworks to the professionals and just sit back and enjoy watching the work that they do," Roth added.

If you are lighting them off, experts say wear safety glasses as well as a hat in case any embers fall on top of your head. Have a bucket of water nearby for the spent fireworks and keep spectators at least 75 feet away.